World’s First Autonomous Imager For Smartphones, Smart-Home Appliances and Automobiles

(c) Shutterstock

(c) Shutterstock

  • It is the first smart image sensor jointly featuring auto-exposure for all lighting conditions and 88dB dynamic range, as well as motion detection and feature extraction for event-based functioning, and AI-based object recognition that triggers highly reliable identification. These key features also enable highly reliable decision taking for a few tens of pJ/pixel/frame, which outperforms existing off-the-shelf systems. The pJ/pixel/frame measures the energy spent by each pixel for each single image within a frame of images. A typical implementation requires about 10,000 more energy than µWAI.



  • The autonomous imager is the world’s first highly efficient, compact and ultralow-power, smart-awaken system designed for everyday small appliances. It also includes:



  • Energy efficiency: consuming 10k less than low-power camera plus processor set,

  • Privacy-compliant, AI-based recognition: nearly human-detection performance (95 percent),

  • Wide operating lighting sensitivity to ensure accurate recognition in extremely variable conditions,
  • Five-year, always-on CR1025 battery lifetime

  • 3-6µW operation, which is required for the Internet of Things and can work with a button cell that lasts five years.


  • CEA-Leti’s team is working hand-in-hand with an industrial partner to develop specific smart-imager products as we consider extending the technology to other use cases by adapting the recognition engine as IP embedded in various cameras," said Antoine Dupret, industrial partnership manager. The recognition engine is optimized to recognize faces when movement is detected. We also will adapt the performance of the imager to the requirements of our partner’s customers.


    • The technology behind µWAI will be discussed during a presentation titled "Toward Deep Electronics and Photonics Integration", by Fabrice Guellec, head of smart integrated circuits for the imaging lab. The presentation is part of CEA-Leti’s virtual workshop, "Emerging Photonic and Integration Technologies for Healthcare" on March 25. Journalists can register here : https://letiphotonics.vfairs.com/en/ .



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