Open Access

An SIMD Programmable Vision Chip with High-Speed Focal Plane Image Processing

  • Dominique Ginhac1Email author,
  • Jérôme Dubois1,
  • Michel Paindavoine1 and
  • Barthélémy Heyrman1
EURASIP Journal on Embedded Systems20092008:961315

Received: 1 March 2008

Accepted: 12 November 2008

Published: 18 January 2009


A high-speed analog VLSI image acquisition and low-level image processing system are presented. The architecture of the chip is based on a dynamically reconfigurable SIMD processor array. The chip features a massively parallel architecture enabling the computation of programmable mask-based image processing in each pixel. Extraction of spatial gradients and convolutions such as Sobel operators are implemented on the circuit. Each pixel includes a photodiode, an amplifier, two storage capacitors, and an analog arithmetic unit based on a four-quadrant multiplier architecture. A pixel proof-of-concept chip was fabricated in a 0.35  m standard CMOS process, with a pixel size of 35  m 35  m. A dedicated embedded platform including FPGA and ADCs has also been designed to evaluate the vision chip. The chip can capture raw images up to 10 000 frames per second and runs low-level image processing at a framerate of 2 000 to 5 000 frames per second.

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Authors’ Affiliations

Laboratoire d'Electronique Informatique et Image (LE2I), UMR CNRS 5158, Health-STIC Federative Research Institute (IFR100), Burgundy University, Dijon, France


© Dominique Ginhac et al. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.