Vision processing on traditional architectures is inefficient due to energy-expensive off-chip data movement. Many researchers advocate pushing processing close to the sensor to substantially reduce data movement. However, continuous near-sensor processing raises sensor temperature, impairing imaging/vision fidelity. We characterize the thermal implications of using 3D stacked image sensors with near-sensor vision processing units. Our characterization reveals that near-sensor processing reduces system power but degrades image quality. For reasonable image fidelity, the sensor temperature needs to stay below a threshold, situationally determined by application needs. Fortunately, our characterization also identifies opportunities—unique to the needs of near-sensor processing—to regulate temperature based on dynamic visual task requirements and rapidly increase capture quality on demand. Based on our characterization, we propose and investigate two thermal management strategies—stop-capture-go and seasonal migration—for imaging-aware thermal management. For our evaluated tasks, our policies save up to 53% of system power with negligible performance impact and sustained image fidelity.
- Continuous mobile vision
- Image sensors
- Thermal management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering