Smart vision startup Oculi turns to GF for next chips

Smart vision startup Oculi turns to GF for next chips

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

Oculi Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland), a fabless chip company seeking to add intelligence to image sensors at the pixel level, has formed a partnership with chipmaker GlobalFoundries Inc.

Under the agreement GlobalFoundries will manufacture the SPU (sensing and processing unit) S12 software-defined vision sensor in its 55LPx manufacturing process. The chip is intended to be used for applications in smart devices and homes, industrial, IoT, automotive markets and wearables including AR/VR.

The SPU S12 will be the first of three sensors to follow on from the SPU S11 which Oculi offers on a series of PCB-based platforms.

Oculi’s SPU chips are based on integrating both per-pixel discrimination, in multiple ways, and the option to capture full-frame images. An Oculi pixel includes digital processing including logic and memory alongside the pixel. The image sensor is more capable than event-based image sensors that have gained recognition in recent years (see Prophesee raises €50 million from China, Saudi Arabia).

“Oculi has solved decades-long fundamental challenges by developing a new form of vision sensor that applies selectivity to process only the most relevant information 30X faster, 1/10th the power drain, and protects privacy/data security at the sensor,” said Charbel Rizk, Oculi founder and CEO, in a statement. He added: “Oculi technology, which features pre-processing inside the pixel that emulates the human eye, will ultimately power many smart devices. Oculi’s new vision is ideal for edge applications such as always-on gesture/face/people tracking and low-latency eye tracking, while alternative solutions are too slow, big, and power inefficient. GF is an excellent partner to enable us to quickly get our product to our customers.”

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