TI has unveiled the smallest mmWave CMOS radar sensor chips claiming a high accuracy which allows them to measure distances lower than the width of human hair. Applications for the new devices span autonomous driving, industrial robotics, medical devices, and factory and building automation.
The new IWR1x and AWR1x 76- to 81-GHz mmWave sensors offer less than a 4 centimeter range resolution, range accuracy down to less than 50 micrometers and range up to 300 meters.
Utilising CMOS process, the new chips integrate both analog and digital functions while the other mmWAVE chip solutions available use discrete components.
The sensors include five solutions across two families of 76- to 81-GHz sensors with a complete end-to-end development platform. Developers can select the right solution, while reducing power consumption and board space by 50 percent, according to TI.
The new 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, making them uniquely robust indoors or outdoors.
In the field of drones, the sensors solve an important sensing problem. Power lines and other suspended wires are very hard to be detected by drones today. TI emphasized that the new sensor can detect them at 80m range.
One important benefit of the devices is that designers can select the sensor with the best processing power for their needs. They can choose a sensor with a DSP and MCU on a chip, a sensor with DSP, or a sensor with MCU.
In addition, the new sensors can dynamically adapt to changing conditions, bring multi modal functionality to avoid false positives and deliver ranges of sensing to multiple applications.
Leveraging TI’s mmWave SDK platform, engineers can start developing their applications in less than 30 minutes, according to the firm. The kit includes sample algorithms and software libraries which simplify RF designs through less than 20 simple application programming interfaces (APIs).
Traditionally, developers have encountered obstacles while creating Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International Level 2 and above functionality in vehicles, with sensor size and power a particular hindrance.
The new sensors eliminate these problems and using them, designers can easily implement ADAS and autonomous driving safety features including ISO 26262 which enables Automotive safety integrity level (ASIL)-B. They can also also deliver new features such as automated parking assistance, pedestrian detection, and occupancy and driver monitoring.
The sensors offer improved efficiency in factory, building automation systems and smart infrastructure. In addition, this sensing technology, according to the firm, can be used to transform existing capabilities in growing areas such as medical equipment, tank-level sensing, robotic vision and drones.
Evaluation modules (EVMs) and samples for the new devices are available. The AWR1x and IWR1x EVMs are available for US$299.00.
Find out more about TI’s mmWave sensor portfolio here.
For further details, view the full Press release.