Eval kit combines Sony HD sensor and Prophesee event-based Metavision sensing

Startup Prophesee, a pioneer in neuromorphic-vision systems, has launched an HD Metavision evaluation kit (EVK4) for developers of computer-vision systems who want to evaluate the new Sony Corp. IMX636ES HD stacked event-based vision sensor, co-developed with Prophesee. The IMX636ES combines Sony’s CMOS image sensor technology with Prophesee’s event-based Metavision sensing technology.

The stacked event-based vision sensor was first announced by Prophesee at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in 2020. The Sony IMX636ES claims the industry’s smallest 4.86-μm pixel size and delivers a 1280 × 720-pixel HD resolution, which makes it suited for a variety of vision-enabled use cases, including industrial, mobility, and consumer applications.

The design kit for the sensor platform is the next step toward commercialization for the co-developed sensor. The EVK is the “best way to start evaluating how the sensor performs for multiple use cases and market-specific machine-vision systems,” said Luca Verre, co-founder and CEO of Prophesee, in a statement.

The small size is coupled with high speed and high temporal resolution, continuously detecting movements and luminance changes. The dynamic range is 86 dB or more (5–100,000 lux), although the event-driven sensor has the ability to deliver the highest HDR performance of greater than 120 dB. The maximum event rate is 1.06 giga-events per second (Geps). It provides both I2C and four-wire SPI interfaces.

Eval kit combines Sony HD sensor and Prophesee event-based Metavision sensing

Sony IMX636ES co-developed with Prophesee. Click for a larger image. (Image: Prophesee)

Prophesee also recently partnered with startup SynSense to develop a single-chip, event-based image sensor, leveraging Prophesee’s Metavision image sensor with Synsense’s DYNAP-CNN neuromorphic processor. The partnership resulted in a hardware development kit for the event-based vision processor for gesture recognition, presence detection, and intent-to-interact applications in smart-home devices.

The new HD Metavision EVK, designed with a plug-and-play approach, comes with the free Metavision Intelligence Suite, a set of software tools for application development. It features 95 algorithms, 67 code samples, and 11 ready-to-use applications to speed up design exploration for a variety of applications and is supported by a global open-source community of developers. In addition to the community forums, the kit includes technical support and access to application notes and advanced documentation.

Eval kit combines Sony HD sensor and Prophesee event-based Metavision sensing

EVK4 HD kit. Click for a larger image. (Image: Prophesee)

The EVK, built ON high-quality aluminum with a lightweight (40 g) design, delivers efficient heat dissipation, electrical isolation, and shielding. It measures 30 × 30 × 36 mm, so it can fit into space-constrained systems. The kit was tested to perform in extreme industrial environmental conditions, including change of temperature, moisture, and shock from rough handling.

The high-precision engineering is said to ensure perfect optical alignment between the sensor, optical barrel, and camera body. Developers can switch between any C-/CS-mount–compatible lens, from 8-mm objective lens to microscope/telescope imaging ports. The kits provide a C-mount 1/2.5-inch lens, C/CS lens mount adapter, tripod, and USB-C to USB-A cable. The EVK is available now from Prophesee.