Prophesee, a developer of advanced neuromorphic vision systems, has introduced the first industry-standard packaged chip that leverages Event-Based Vision technology, a significant advancement over traditional frame-based vision approaches

Under development for the past five years and commercially tested with several customers, this third-generation version houses a Prophesee-enabled VGA-resolution sensor and represents the industry’s first implementation of Event-Based Vision technology in a commercially-viable, industry standard package.

This new packaged version of the Metavision sensor is aimed at developers of cameras to enable next-generation vision in industrial automation and IoT systems such as robots, inspection equipment, monitoring and surveillance devices. It leverages Prophesee’s use of neuromorphic vision technology to offer highly efficient machine vision capabilities for a variety of use models, including ultra high-speed part counting, vibration measurement and monitoring or kinematic monitoring for predictive maintenance. It allows for unprecedented speed, dynamic range, data volume, and power efficiency.

"This is a major milestone for Prophesee and underscrore the progress in commercialising our pioneering Event-Based Vision sensing technology. We can now offer product developers an off-the-shelf means to take advantage of the benefits of our machine vision inventions and move the industry out of the traditional frame-based paradigm for image capture," said Luca Verre, co-founder and CEO of Prohesee.

In Prophesee Metavision sensors, each pixel is independent and asynchronous. Each pixel only activates itself if it senses a change in the scene, a movement - an event. This proprietary Event-Based approach allows for major reductions of power, latency and data processing requirements imposed by traditional frame-based systems.

It enables sensors to achieve much higher dynamic ranges than commonly associated with high-speed vision. And it allows cost-efficient sensors and systems to record events that would otherwise require conventional cameras to run at 10,000 images/second and more.

The sensor can be used by system developers to improve and in some cases create whole new industrial uses, including accelerating quality assessment on production lines; positioning, sensing and movement guidance for robots to enable better human collaboration; and equipment monitoring (e.g. caused by vibration, kinetic deviations) making the system an asset for predictive maintenance and reduced machine downtime.

The sensor is supported by a robust development environment that includes a comprehensive software development kit (SDK), a full set of drivers, the Prophesee Player tool for recording sequences and visualising data and access to the Prophesee Online Portal, a detailed knowledge centre containing useful resources for developers.

The chip, available in a 13x15 mm mini PBGA package, integrates Prophesee’s third generation CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) vision module. It features 640 x 480-pixel resolution with 15 μm pixels in a 3/4” optical format.