Image:-Sony aims at smarter image sensors to enlarge beyond smartphones
The company said it has developed the world's first image sensor with an integrated artificial intelligence ( AI) processor that can perform tasks such as determining crowd size, scanning bar codes and monitoring driver somnolence-all in one chip.
The complete package can extract and process data without sending it to the cloud or anywhere else, eliminating transmission latency and reducing power consumption, Sony said.
The move underscores how the Japanese giant, whose once-dominant position in consumer electronics was eroded by Asian rivals, still has a strong arsenal of sophisticated technology in areas such as sensors and robotics.
Sony's chip business earns about 90 percent of smartphone cameras' revenue from image sensors, capitalizing on the recent focus on camera features by smartphone makers as their biggest differentiator.
On Wednesday, Sony said the company's profitability could deteriorate this year as the coronavirus outbreak clouded the outlook for the smartphone market already saturated.
Therefore, the company aims to increase the percentage of its sensing solutions business, including the latest AI-embedded chip, from 4 percent to 30 percent of the chip division by the year ending March 2026.
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