A Vision Chip
Some well understood and well justified algorithms for early visual processing must be implemented in hardware for later visual processing to be studied. This paper describes the design and hardware implementation of a particular operator of visual processing. I constructed an NMOS VLSI circuit that computes the gradient, and detects zero-crossings, in a digital video image in real time. The algorithms employed by the chip, the design process that led to it, and its capabilites and limitations are discussed. For hardware to be a useful tool for AI, designing it must be as much like programming as possible. This paper concludes with some discussion of how such a goal can be met.