Image sensors to get AI in three-layer die stack: Page 2 of 2

September 30, 2019 //By Peter Clarke
Image sensors to get AI in three-layer die stack
STMicroelectronics is preparing to adopt three-level hybrid bonding of die to create smart image sensors and 3D environmental sensors.

The next step in the progress would be to include a third layer in the hybrid stack. The top layer would be the image sensor and in the case of a visible sensor that could potentially be a back-side illuminated (BSI) device bonded face-to-face to an active device responsible for analog to digital conversion and data movement. The third layer would be an STM32 microcontroller able to run digital neural network software and create a highly autonomous sensor that can analyse scenes and communicate with other parts of the system only in accordance to application-specific criteria.

This has the advantage of reducing computing load at the host and reducing power consumption.

When asked if it would be appropriate to use an AI-specific processor in the third layer of the smart sensor Wehbe-Alause said that was possible. The solution she outlined was an "exploration" she said.

The use of an STM32 microcontroller brings the advantage of an already available developers' interface for digital neural networks.

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