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Wi-FLIP: A wireless smart camera based on a focal-plane low-power image processor

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5 Author(s)
Fernandez-Berni, J. ; Inst. of Microelectron. of Seville, CNM, Seville, Spain ; Carmona-Galan, R. ; Linan-Cembrano, G. ; Zarandy, A.
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This paper presents Wi-FLIP, a vision-enabled WSN node resulting from the integration of FLIP-Q, a prototype vision chip, and Imotel, a commercial WSN platform. In Wi-FLIP, image processing is not only constrained to the digital domain like in conventional architectures. Instead, its image sensor - the FLIP-Q prototype - incorporates pixel-level processing elements (PEs) implemented by analog circuitry. These PEs are interconnected, rendering a massively parallel SIMD-based focal-plane array. Low-level image processing tasks fit very well into this processing scheme. They feature a heavy computational load composed of pixel-wise repetitive operations which can be realized in parallel with moderate accuracy. In such circumstances, analog circuitry, not very precise but faster and more area- and power-efficient than its digital counterpart, has been extensively reported to achieve better performance. The Wi-FLIP's image sensor does not therefore output raw but pre-processed images that make the subsequent digital processing much lighter. The energy cost of such pre-processing is really low - 5.6mW for the worst-case scenario. As a result, for the configuration where the Imote2's processor works at minimum clock frequency, the maximum power consumed by our prototype represents only the 5.2% of the whole system power consumption. This percentage gets even lower as the clock frequency increases. We report experimental results for different algorithms, image resolutions and clock frequencies. The main drawback of this first version of Wi-FLIP is the low frame rate reachable due to the non-standard GPIO-based FLIPQ-to-Imote2 interface.

Published in:

Distributed Smart Cameras (ICDSC), 2011 Fifth ACM/IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

22-25 Aug. 2011