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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

A Vision Chip for Color Segmentation and Pattern Matching

  • 1, 2Email author,
  • 1, 2 and
  • 1
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20032003:407169

  • Received: 15 July 2002
  • Published:


A 128(H) 64(V) RGB CMOS imager is integrated with region-of-interest selection, RGB-to-HSI transformation, HSI-based pixel segmentation, (36bins 12bits)-HSI histogramming, and sum-of-absolute-difference (SAD) template matching. Thirty-two learned color templates are stored and compared to each image. The chip captures the R, G, and B images using in-pixel storage before passing the pixel content to a multiplying digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for white balancing. The DAC can also be used to pipe in images for a PC. The color processing uses a biologically inspired color opponent representation and an analog lookup table to determine the Hue (H) of each pixel. Saturation (S) is computed using a loser-take-all circuit. Intensity (I) is given by the sum of the color components. A histogram of the segments of the image, constructed by counting the number of pixels falling into 36 Hue intervals of 10 degrees, is stored on a chip and compared against the histograms of new segments using SAD comparisons. We demonstrate color-based image segmentation and object recognition with this chip. Running at 30 fps, it uses 1 mW. To our knowledge, this is the first chip that integrates imaging, color segmentation, and color-based object recognition at the focal plane.


  • focal plane image processing
  • object recognition
  • color histogramming
  • CMOS image sensor
  • vision chip
  • VLSI color image processor

Authors’ Affiliations

Iguana Robotics, P.O. Box 625, Urbana, IL 61803, USA
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA


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