Prophesee packages event-based sensor with AMD vision AI kit

Prophesee, the French developer of neuromorphic vision systems used in event-based vision sensors and related products, has aligned with AMD to make its event-based Metavision HD sensor and AI available for use with the AMD Kria KV260 Vision AI Starter Kit.

The pairing is being showcased at the Automate 2024 automation technology trade show in Chicago this week.

The Kria FPGA system-on-module (SoM) family was launched three years ago by Xilinx prior to that company’s acquisition by AMD. In the years since, as interest in edge AI processing has grown AMD has continued to invest in and expand the SoM with devices targeting various vertical and applications, such as vision AI, automotive, robotics, and more. It also has launched Starter Kits for some of these target areas to help developers hit the ground running and quickly incorporate the Kria devices into their own products and applications.

Though Prophesee officials have told Fierce Electronics in the past that its event-based sensors would work with many makes and models of FPGAs to design new offerings,  this is the first time Prophesee is offering a development kit that includes an FPGA as part of the complete offering, a company spokesman said.

The company added that this announcement also represents the first event-based vision development kit compatible with an AMD platform, helping users pursue target applications such as smart city and machine vision, security cameras, retail analytics, and many others. 

The KV260 Vision AI Starter Kit is the development platform for AMD’s Kria K26 SoM aimed at advanced vision applications with edge AI processing needs. The kit eliminates the requirement for product designers to have complex hardware design knowledge or FPGA programming skills before starting their projects. 

Luca Verre, co-founder and CEO of Prophesee, said the pairing of his company’s sensor technology with the Kria SoM and Starter Kit into a new offering will help advance the market for event-based vision products and applications, in many cases pushing beyond what traditional frame-based vision sensing approaches allow.

“It’s never been easier to develop Event-based Edge applications with this combination of development aids from AMD and Prophesee,” he said. “We are providing everything needed to take complete advantage of the lower power processing and low latency performance inherent in Event-based Vision, as well as provide an environment to optimize machine vision systems based on specific KPIs for customer-defined applications and use cases.” 

The company also said the new offering includes a breakthrough plug-and-play Active Markers Tracking application that allows for >1,000Hz 3D pose estimation, with complete background rejection at pixel level while providing extreme robustness to challenging lighting conditions. Prophesee has said that this capability enables a new range of ultra high-speed tracking use cases such as game controller tracking, construction site safety, heavy load anti-sway systems and many more. Multiple additional ready-to-use application algorithms will be made available over the coming months, the company said.

Prophesee add that the new combined kit provides an ‘out of the box’ development solution to quickly get up and running with the Prophesee Metavision SDK and IMX636 HD Event-based sensor realized in collaboration between Prophesee and Sony, allowing easy porting of algorithms to the AMD commercial and industrial-grade SoMs powered by AMD’s custom-built Zynq UltraScale+ multiprocessing SoC.  

“The ever-expanding Kria ecosystem helps make motion capture, connectivity, and edge AI applications more accessible to roboticists and developers,” said Chetan Khona, senior director of Industrial, Vision, Healthcare and Sciences Markets, AMD. “Prophesee Event-based Vision offers unique advantages for machine vision applications. Its low data consumption translates into efficient energy consumption, less compute and memory needed, and fast response times.”