Lensless Smart Sensors
Simple-function, sensor-laden endpoints are expected to become ubiquitous as new layers of the IoT infrastructure go online. These environmentally-aware ‘lite’ endpoints will capture, analyze and transfer data to various devices and the cloud, but will have to do so in the most power- and size-optimized method possible. That is why Rambus scientists have pioneered Lensless Smart Sensor (LSS) technology for the new age of ubiquitous connectivity.
LSS enables the next-generation of low-power sensing through capturing information-rich images using a low-cost phase grating coupled with standard image sensors and sophisticated computational algorithms. Indeed, the spiral grating of LSS diffractive optics (hardware), coupled with sophisticated computational algorithms (software), reduce computation time while facilitating application-specific design flexibility. This allows computation to be effectively pushed past the ‘edge’ and performed on the LSS sensors themselves. LSS technology delivers a high-fidelity output for greater accuracy and more sophisticated capabilities in the areas of gesture recognition, depth and range tracking, point finding, and advanced object recognition.
As the number of potential applications for imaging and sensing continues to grow, LSS has been extended to operate in visible and thermal wavelengths, offering significant size and cost advantages versus standard thermal imaging modules. With the addition of these new capabilities, LSS can replace traditional thermal lenses with optical gratings that are significantly less expensive, enabling adoption of LSS thermal and visible sensing into a broad ranger of IoT applications including automotive, virtual and augmented reality, and smart home use cases.
As thin as 1 millimeter thick for a grating and a sensor, LSS technology is small enough to integrate directly into existing devices and applications to enable accurate sensing capabilities that are virtually invisible to the end user. Applications such as digital eyewear and smart home sensing can greatly benefit from its tiny size, by embedding LSS into the frames of digital eyewear for eye tracking or the faceplate screw of an electrical outlet for occupancy sensing and motion detection.
For more information about our Lensless Smart Sensor, please see our FAQ here.