This paper presents a fast and area-efficient implementation of a real-time stereo vision algorithm for spatial depth mapping. The design combines two well-known area-based approaches to stereo thatching and includes an occlusion detection method. Hardware efficiency is achieved by storing only partial images on-chip, avoiding full-sized frame buffers. A low-latency dataflow-oriented structure makes it possible to process 256 x 192 pixel Input streams with a rate In excess of 50 frames per second, amounting to more than 54 million pixel x disparity measurements per second (PDS) (for a 25-pixel disparity range), or roughly 18 GOPS. The design has been Integrated In a 0.25 mu m standard CMOS technology and occupies an area of less than 3 mm(2).