The world-leading nanoelectronics research centre imec and semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies has recently announced that they are cooperating in CMOS sensor chip development.
Based on the agreement unveiled at the annual imec Technology Forum in Brussels, Infineon and imec are working on highly integrated CMOS-based 79 GHz sensor chips for automotive radar applications. Imec contributes its advanced expertise in high-frequency system, circuit and antenna design for radar applications thus complementing Infineon’s radar sensor chip knowledge.
As an important step towards the fully automated car, the development of a first demonstrator in 28 nm CMOS technology is well under way. Infineon and imec expect functional CMOS sensor chip samples in the third quarter of 2016. A complete radar system demonstrator is scheduled for the beginning of 2017.
Typically, there are up to three radar systems in today’s vehicle equipped with driver assistance functions. In the future, with fully automated cars up to ten radar systems and ten more sensor systems using camera or LIDAR technologies may potentially be utilised.
“Infineon enables the radar-based safety cocoon of the partly and fully automated car,” said Ralf Bornefeld, vice president and general manager, sense and control, Infineon Technologies. “In the future, we will manufacture radar sensor chips as a single-chip solution in a classic CMOS process for applications like automated parking. Infineon will continue to set industry standards in radar technology and quality.”
“We are excited to work with Infineon as a valuable partner in our R&D program on advanced CMOS-based 77 GHz and 79 GHz radar technology,” said Wim Van Thillo, program director perceptive systems at imec. “Compared to the mainstream 24 GHz band, the 77 GHz and 79 GHz bands enable a finer range, Doppler and angular resolution. With these advantages, we aim to realise radar prototypes with integrated multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antennas that not only detect large objects, but also pedestrians and bikers and thus contribute to a safer environment for all.”