PISA: A Non-Volatile Processing-In-Sensor Accelerator for Imaging Systems

Shaahin Angizi, Sepehr Tabrizchi, David Z. Pan, Arman Roohi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work proposes a Processing-In-Sensor Accelerator, namely PISA, as a flexible, energy-efficient, and high-performance solution for real-time and smart image processing in AI devices. PISA intrinsically implements a coarse-grained convolution operation in Binarized-Weight Neural Networks (BWNNs) leveraging a novel compute-pixel with non-volatile weight storage at the sensor side. This remarkably reduces the power consumption of data conversion and transmission to an off-chip processor. The design is completed with a bit-wise near-sensor in-memory computing unit to process the remaining network layers. Once the object is detected, PISA switches to typical sensing mode to capture the image for a fine-grained convolution using only a near-sensor processing unit. Our circuit-to-application co-simulation results on a BWNN acceleration demonstrate minor accuracy degradation on various image datasets in coarse-grained evaluation compared to baseline BWNN models, while PISA achieves a frame rate of 1000 and efficiency of <inline-formula><tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\sim$</tex-math></inline-formula>1.74 TOp/s/W. Lastly, PISA substantially reduces data conversion and transmission energy by <inline-formula><tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\sim$</tex-math></inline-formula>84&#x0025; compared to a baseline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


  • accelerator
  • Convolution
  • Image processing
  • Magnetic memories
  • Magnetic tunneling
  • Magnetization
  • Memory management
  • Power demand
  • processing-in-sensor
  • Sensors


Dive into the research topics of 'PISA: A Non-Volatile Processing-In-Sensor Accelerator for Imaging Systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this