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Real-Time Iconic Image Processor



Ronald Lumia, Michael O. Shneier, Ernest Kent


The Sensory-Interactive Robotics Group at the National Bureau of Standards is producing PIPE, a pipelined image-processing engine, for research in low-level machine vision. PIPE processes sequences of images at field rates through a series of point and neighborhood operations. It is divided into a variable number of identical stages, each of which performs an independent set of operations on the image data stored in the stage. A stage control unit determines the sequence of operations performed within a stage on each image. This sequence is easily modified by a host computer during the inter-field interval when all of the stage control units can be totally reconfigured. Image flow through PIPE in several ways. In addition to the (standard pipeline) forward pathway, where an output image is sent to the next stage, an output image can also be sent to the same stage via a recursive pathway and to the previous stage via a retrograde pathway. As a result, PIPE can support relaxation operations, temporal neighborhood operations, and other local operations. Several processing modes are available in PIPE in addition to the usual SIMD mode of pipelined processors. In an MIMD mode, one of several operations is performed on a region of interest which can be defined by the host device or by previous image operations. PIPE also supports variable resolution pyramids where an image is compressed or expanded as it passes between stages.
Proceedings Title
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Conference Dates
March 1, 1985
Conference Location
St. Louis, MO
Conference Title
Robotics and Automation


Image Processing, Pipe


Lumia, R. , Shneier, M. and Kent, E. (1985), Real-Time Iconic Image Processor, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, St. Louis, MO, [online], (Accessed March 1, 2024)
Created March 1, 1985, Updated February 17, 2017