Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have modified an algorithm for processing three-dimensional (3D) camera data with power conservation in mind.
The team used the algorithm to develop a new chip and they report it consumes 1/1,000 as much power as a conventional computer processor.
The biggest energy drain on chips today is fetching data from main memory. The researchers came up with a way to reliably preload data without having to go back to main memory.
The team also built a prototype of a complete navigation system for the visually impaired that uses an experimental (3D) camera. The component of the system that consumes the most energy is the camera, so the researchers added a circuit that quickly and coarsely compares each new frame of data captured by the camera to help save power. Visually impaired people could use the technology in a wearable device to navigate their environments.
The researchers presented a paper on their work at this week's International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.
From MIT News
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