Sony has announced two new intelligent vision sensors, which it says are the first image sensors in the world equipped with AI processing functionality. That AI processing functionality is on the image sensor itself, enabling high-speed edge AI processing and extraction of only the necessary data when using cloud services. That sort of extraction reduces data transmission latency and minimize privacy concerns while reducing power consumption and communication costs. Sony says that the new products will expand opportunities to develop AI-equipped cameras in both retail and industrial equipment industries.
The sensors include the IMX500 1/2.3-type (7.857 mm diagonal), with approximately 12.3 effective megapixels, and the IMX501 1/2.3-type (7.857 mm diagonal) with approximately 12.3 effective megapixels. Sony began shipping samples of the IMX500 in April and will begin shipping the IMX501 in June.
Sony's new sensor products use a stack configuration consisting of a pixel chip and a logic chip. The product are the world's first image sensors to be equipped with an AI image analysis and processing functionality on the logic chip. The signal required by the pixel chip is processed via an AI on the sensor, which eliminates the need for high-performance processors or external memory.
Sony says that the sensor outputs metadata instead of image information making for reduced data volume and fewer privacy concerns. The pixel chip is back-eliminated with approximately 12.3 effective megapixels for capturing information across a wide-angle of view. Along with the conventional image sensor, the logic chip also has Sony's original DSP dedicated to AI signal processing and memory for the AI model. The sensors can record 4K video at 60 FPS and 1080p. The camera can also shoot images with HDR and output RAW format images. The biggest news from Sony in recent memory was about the PS5.