Sony IMX500Source: Sony

What you need to know

  • Sony has announced the world's first camera sensor to feature AI processing capabilities.
  • The company expects the new sensor to be used in retail and industrial equipment industries.
  • It has a 12.3 megapixel count and supports up to 4K video recording at 60 fps.

Sony has introduced the first camera sensor in the world to boast integrated AI processing capability. The new sensor has a stacked configuration that consists of a pixel chip and logic chip. Thanks to the logic chip, the sensor is capable of performing ISP processing, as well as high-speed AI processing without requiring additional hardware.

Sony's new IMX500 image sensor will enable faster, as well as more secure AI cameras. Not only does the sensor eliminate the need for dedicated AI chips in devices, it is claimed to reduce data transmission latency and power consumption as well. Another advantage that the new sensor offers is that it can output metadata instead of image information, which reduces data volume by a significant margin and minimizes the risk of data being exposed to hackers when sending images and videos to the cloud.

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The IMX500 is a 1/2.3" type sensor with 12.3 megapixel effective resolution and a sample price of 10,000 JPY ($93). It supports 4K Ultra HD video capture at up to 60 fps and Full HD video at up to 240 fps.

Speaking to The Verge, Sony vice president of business innovation Mark Hanson said that the company's first-generation AI image sensor will not be making its way to consumer devices such as phones. Instead, the company is planning to sell the sensor to large retailers and industrial equipment industries. Amazon's cashierless Go stores were hinted as a potential application by Hanson.

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