Machines Get Human-Like Perception with the World’s Fastest Vision Chip

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Scientists created Tianmouc – the world’s first brain-inspired vision chip capable of sensing 10,000 frames per second, efficiently handling extreme scenarios, and ensuring system stability and safety.

The team came from the Center for Brain-Inspired Computing Research (CBICR) at Tsinghua University, China. They introduced a complementary sensing paradigm inspired by the human visual system, which involves breaking down visual information into basic representations and combining them to create two distinct pathways: one for precise cognition and another for rapid response.

According to Interesting Engineering, they developed Tianmouc to create this paradigm, incorporating a hybrid pixel array and a parallel-and-heterogeneous readout architecture. The team leveraged the Tianmouc chip, developed high-performance software and algorithms, and validated their performance on a vehicle-mounted perception platform operating in open environments.

When tested in extreme scenarios, the system demonstrated low-latency, high-performance real-time perception, proving its immense potential for applications in the field of intelligent unmanned systems.

The reason it is considered a breakthrough in the field of visual sensing chips is that it not only provides strong technological support for the advancement of an intelligent revolution, but also opens new avenues for applications like autonomous driving and embodied intelligence, which are extremely important.

“We demonstrate the integration of a Tianmouc chip into an autonomous driving system, showcasing its abilities to enable accurate, fast and robust perception, even in challenging corner cases on open roads,” said the researchers.

The project’s leader Shi Luping told the South China Morning Post: “This is a perception chip, not a computational one, based on our original technical route. Firstly, it balances speed and dynamic performance in vision chips and introduces a novel computational method that diverges from existing machine vision strategies. Secondly, this approach mimics the human visual system’s dual pathway, enabling decision-making without complete clarity.”

The researchers conclude that the chip would open important doors and opportunities for advancements in the fields of autonomous driving and defense.