6 October 2017
Infineon demos autonomous driving technology using new RF radar single-chip transceiver including 77/79GHz MMIC
At its OktoberTech 2017 Technology Collaboration Forum in Palo Alto, CA, USA, Infineon Technologies AG of Munich, Germany has demonstrated the latest semiconductor solutions underlying autonomous driving, including new radar sensors.
The firm recently made available to early adopters a complete radar chipset that includes a 77/79GHz monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC), a high-performance multicore microcontroller with a dedicated sensor processing unit and a safety power supply to accelerate the development of advanced radar systems.
“Over the recent years, we have seen the pace of innovation in the automotive industry accelerate to a level we have not experienced previously. Companies in Silicon Valley have taken a strong interest in taking a leading position for automotive innovation,” says Ritesh Tyagi, head of the Silicon Valley Automotive Innovation Center (SVIC) at Infineon. “Infineon has more than a decade of radar experience and is a preferred chip partner of the automotive industry,” he adds. “Our SVIC team connects the development forces of established and disruptive companies with latest technologies of Infineon, thus accelerating the advancement of the fully automated car.”
Complete radar chipset: new RF radar transceiver, microcontroller and power supply
Infineon says that its concept of a monolithic highly integrated radio frequency (RF) radar transceiver was well received with major design-wins at industry-leading system suppliers to the automotive industry. The new RF radar single-chip transceiver replaces three previous components: the RF transmitter, the RF receiver and a companion phase-locked loop (PLL) device. The RF radar transceiver together with a second-generation AURIX radar-specific microcontroller and a fail-safe power supply is the basis for a scalable radar chipset.
All three products are fully compliant with ISO26262 specifications. To support new designs at established automotive system suppliers and disruptive companies, in first-quarter 2018 Infineon will make available a radar module starter kit including the three ICs (RF radar transceiver, AURIX radar-specific microcontroller and fail-safe power supply) and an integrated software package to take advantage of the dedicated signal processing hardware accelerator in the chipset (intended as an evaluation starter kit for developing radar sensors using the Infineon chipset).
More road safety with radar chips for vehicles and infrastructure
Infineon says that it is currently the leading supplier of 77/79GHz radar chips. With a total of over 50 million radar sensor chips sold, the firm claims that it is the standard in radar-based driver assistance systems in all car segments (premium, mid-range and compact), and that with the new radar chipset it will boost its market position over the next years. The growth of radar applications in vehicles is further fueled by the voluntary commitment of the USA automotive industry and a mandatory requirement by Euro NCAP for the use of radar-based driver assistance systems to achieve a five stars safety rating in a new car.
Infineon will equip the three key sensor technologies for semi-automated and fully automated cars: radar, camera (with 3D image sensor chips based on the time-of-flight (ToF) principle), and lidar. Infineon has also developed other sensing technologies for automotive safety sensor applications: Hall, magnetic and pressure sensor chips for airbags and tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) as well as gear sticks and steering column controls, for example.