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Dr Themis Prodromakis

University of Southampton
Nano Group, Southampton Nanofabrication Centre
Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK
+44 (0)23 8059 8803

A 128x128 1.5% Contrast Sensitivity 0.9% FPN 3us Latency 4mW Asynchronous Frame-Free Dynamic Vision Sensor Using Transimpedance Amplifiers

Authors: T. Serrano-Gotarredona and B. Linares-Barranco

Dynamic Vision Sensors (DVS) have recently appeared as a new paradigm for vision sensing and processing. They feature unique characteristics such as contrast coding under wide illumination variation, micro-second latency response to fast stimuli, and low output data rates (which greatly improves the efficiency of post-processing stages). They can track extremely fast objects (e.g., time resolution is better than 100 kFrames/s video) without special lighting conditions. Their availability has triggered a new range of vision applications in the fields of surveillance, motion analyses, robotics, and microscopic dynamic observations. One key DVS feature is contrast sensitivity, which has so far been reported to be in the 10-15% range. In this paper, a novel pixel photo sensing and transimpedance pre-amplification stage makes it possible to improve by one order of magnitude contrast sensitivity (down to 1.5%) and power (down to 4 mW), reduce the best reported FPN (Fixed Pattern Noise) by a factor of 2 (down to 0.9%), while maintaining the shortest reported latency (3us) and good Dynamic Range (120 dB), and further reducing overall area (down to 30um x  31um per pixel). The only penalty is the limitation of intrascene Dynamic Range to 3 decades. A 128x128 DVS test prototype has been fabricated in standard 0.35um CMOS and extensive experimental characterization results are provided.

Funding Research Councils:
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