TI’s New Radar Sensors for Autonomous Driving

17 May, 2017

With its Its 76GHz-81GHz FMCW radar in a single-chip, Texas Instruments targets hyper sensing emerging markets such as Autonomous Driving, Industrial Robotics, Homeland Security and Medical Devices

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mmwave radar sensor

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) unveiled what it says is the world’s most precise single-chip millimeter wave sensor: It is a 76GHz-81GHz Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) radar in a single-chip that can measure distances lower than the width of a single strand of human hair. With this product, TI targets hyper sensing emerging markets such as Autonomous Driving, Industrial Robotics and Control, Homeland Security, Medical Devices and more.

Development Board for Radar Sensor Applications
mmWave Radar Development Board

TI’s new millimeter wave (mmWave) single-chip CMOS sensors includes five solutions across two families of sensors with a complete end-to-end development platform (SDK). Available for sampling today, the AWR1x and IWR1x families combines analog and RF circuitry with digital signal processing to enable the implementation intelligent sensing solutions.

The designers can choose a sensor with MCU, a sensor with DSP, or a sensor with MCU and DSP all together in a single chip.

Looking Through Walls

The sensing capabilities options can reach less than a 4-centimeter range resolution with accuracy down to less than 50 micrometers, and lower precision with multitude ranges up to 300 meters. IWR1x and AWR1x mmWave sensors can sense through plastic, dry wall, clothing, glass and many other materials, and through environmental conditions such as lighting, rain, dust, fog or frost. They are adapted to Automotive industry demands, including ISO 26262 approval which enables Automotive safety integrity level (ASIL)-B.

Texas Instruments Automotive Radar

The AWR/IWR sensors portfolio is a self-contained FMCW transceiver single-chip solution in the band of 76-81GHz With 4GHz available bandwidth. It is built on TI’s low-power 45-nm RFCMOS process. Simple programming model changes can enable a wide variety of sensor implementation (Short, Mid, Long) with the possibility of dynamic reconfiguration for implementing a multimode sensor. It consists of 4 Receive Channels and 3 Three Transmit Channels (Two Can be Used Simultaneously).

Specially Designed CMOS Transistor

According to Gregory Delagi, senior vice president, Embedded Processing at Texas Instruments, TI has been developing high frequency CMOS circuits over the last 10 years. “This enabled the integration of all the functional blocks of a mmWave sensor into a single chip. The advanced mixed signal circuits enable 10 times higher accuracy compared to sensors deployed today. Our ultra-low power transistors enable sensing function at 25% of current sensors with options for going down to as low as 150 mW.

“The portfolio scales from a high performance front-end to a single chip integrating RF, microcontroller, DSP and Interfaces in the same die, and addresses two key markets: We believe they will create a significant impact on both these markets by making sensors more accurate, smaller and simpler.”

Industrial Applications for Radar Sensors

The sensors are available today and appears in a BGA Package and a new mmWave software development kit (SDK) includes sample algorithms and software libraries which simplify RF designs through less than 20 simple application programming interfaces (APIs). By leveraging TI estimates that with its mmWave SDK platform engineers can start developing their applications in less than 30 minutes.

For more information: www.ti.com/mmwave-pr-eu

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