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Light-section (LS)-based range finders are commonly used for obstacle recognition in home service robots and autonomous vehicles. This paper proposes a smart CMOS image sensor for LS-based range finding. The proposed sensor can detect the laser light, even under very strong ambient-illumination levels by using a multiple-capture frame-correlated double sampling (F-CDS), which is realized with an inverter-based switched-capacitor F-CDS accumulator. The proposed sensor also includes on-chip winner-take-all circuits that significantly reduce the software and hardware complexity of interpolation for the subpixel resolution. The prototype chip was fabricated using a 0.35-mum CMOS process. The measurement results show that the proposed sensor can detect a laser line with an intensity that is 56.5 dB lower than that of the ambient illumination, providing a spatial resolution of plusmn0.16 pixels.