[J3] A Single-Chip Image Sensor Node With Energy Harvesting From a CMOS Pixel Array


This paper presents a single-chip image sensor node with energy harvesting from the pixel-array. The design includes a 128 x 96 pixel array that can be reconfigured to form an on-chip photovoltaic cell to harvest energy. An on-chip power management unit harvests energy from the pixel-array and delivers multiple regulated output voltage domains to power the sensor, image processor, and memory. The image processor is a low-overhead moving object detection unit to reduce volume of transmitted data. The proposed sensor node is implemented on a single die in 130nm technology. The pixel-array demonstrates the peak harvested power of 2.1µW. The power dissipation of sensor is reduced by utilizing low-power circuit techniques including block-level pipelining, power gating, and low-voltage memory. The system can be self-powered to process a frame at every 7 seconds. We discuss design approaches for improving the self-power performance. The noise characteristic of the reconfigurable sensor is analyzed and the need for noise-robust moving object detection is evaluated for better image quality and improved self-power performance.

IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers (TCAS-I)