Next-gen radar sensors for smart home, IoT applications

October 03, 2019 //By Rich Pell
Next-gen radar sensors for smart home, IoT applications
Fabless ASIC supplier Socionext America (Sunnyvale, CA) has introduced a set of radio-wave ranging sensors that provide highly sensitive, low-power sensor technology for a broad range of smart home and IoT devices.

The new compact, low-cost SC1230 radar sensors, says the company, include two products that can detect the location and movement of individuals with ultra-high degrees of sensitivity. The SC1232AR3 measures the presence and the distance of an object, while the SC1233AR3 adds the ability to detect direction.

Radar sensors can detect location and movement of persons without recording images or sounds, says the company, and are useful for developing new services and functions based on information about "human behavior," while also addressing privacy concerns. Additionally, they can operate behind non-metallic surfaces, walls, or plastic housing and generate behavioral data such as movement, direction, and distance.

The SC1230 devices feature a built-in antenna, radio circuit, A/D converter, and ranging calculation circuit, and come with a built-in motion detection function that detects the distance to an object and flags when movement is detected. The detection result can be quickly read after setting up the system from the host MCU via I2C/SPI.

Average operating power consumption is approximately 0.5 mW for detection of persons operating at 0.1% duty cycle in motion detection mode. In comparison with conventional radar sensors, says the company, the SC1230 devices require no advanced knowledge to implement and are also smaller, far less power hungry, and easier to install in home appliances.

The Digital Beam Shaper feature of the SC1232AR3 enables Field of View (FOV) selection of either 120 or 95 degrees. Detection range is 8 m in the frontal direction.

The dual receiving antenna system of the SC1233AR3 allows 2D angle detection by using an external MCU. FOV is 120 degrees, and the detection range is 8 m in the front direction. For angle detection, it outputs pre-processed data by the built-in circuit, so angle information can be obtained with a simple calculation.

Offered in a 9 mm x 9 mm package, both devices are available now in samples, with volume production scheduled for the first quarter of


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