Short-range radar sensors offer high accuracy, small footprint

May 17, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With a new portfolio of millimeter-wave devices, Texas Instruments enables sensing applications in automotive environments. The single-chip CMOS devices offers higher accuracy than comparable solutions on the market, the vendor claims. They also can be used in other application fields including factory and building automation as well as medical technology.

The portfolio includes five products in two 76-181 GHz sensor families combined with a development platform. The AWR1x and IWR1x sensor portfolio, which is available now for sampling, offers three times more accurate detection characteristics than the millimeter-wave solutions currently available on the market. Sophisticated analog design techniques combined with digital signal processing enable designers to equip their systems with intelligent, non-contact sensor technology.

 

Developers were traditionally confronted with obstacles when they wanted to develop features for automotive vehicles according to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International Level 2 or higher, with the size and power consumption of the sensors being a particular hurdle. The AWI1x now allows developers to meet their needs with built-in quality standards, high accuracy with small dimensions and low power consumption. At the same time, the prerequisites for a cost-effective implementation are given. As a result, designers can upgrade not only Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving safety features - including those according to ISO 26262 for Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) B - but also new features such as an automatic parking function, pedestrian detection as well as seat or space occupancy and driver monitoring.

 

The new sensors offer a high degree of integration in that designers can choose the best processing performance for their needs by opting for a fully integrated single-chip CMOS solution with a best-in-class DSP and a microcontroller, or a single-chip device With MCU or DSP. All chips offer intelligent, high-precision and stand-alone sensor technology with a distance resolution of less than 4 cm, a distance accuracy of less than 50 μm and a range of distances of up to 300 m. Power consumption as well as footprint are reduced by 50%.

The portfolio of 76-to-81-GHz single-chip millimeter-wave sensors can dynamically adapt to changing conditions and provide multimodal functionality to avoid false positives and to provide a wide range of applications with distance measurement capabilities.

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