NXP drives forward with radar sensor SDK

Radar signal processing algorithms in NXP’s Premium Radar software development kit (SDK) enable developers to enhance radar system performance. It leverages tight coupling of NXP’s software algorithms with its S32R4x radar processor family for improved safety and differentiation. The proprietary radar algorithm library allows quick integration of proven algorithms into radar sensor applications, helping to speed radar sensor development and reduce R&D investment, said NXP. 

The initial release, expected to be available for evaluation during 2022, includes three algorithm packages for interference mitigation, MIMO waveform optimisation and angular resolution enhancement.

Radar is increasingly used in vehicle applications like automated emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. In addition, legislation and regulations mandate more demanding features for blind-spot detection, turn assistant, front and rear cross-traffic and people detection, requiring more radar nodes per vehicle. Another contributor is the consumer demand for a safer and more comfortable driving experience which is accelerating the transition to L2+, offering comfort features close to L3 autonomous driving, said NXP. 

In about five years, cars will carry twice as many radar sensors as today, and over 90 per cent of the radar sensors will be emitting in the same 77 to 79GHz band. 

“We expect the triple acceleration of automotive radar to continue over the next decade, with more cars equipped with radar sensors, an increasing number of sensor nodes per car and more performant sensors being deployed,” said Huanyu Gu, director product marketing and business development ADAS, NXP. For vehicle OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, this “poses a need for interference mitigation, MIMO waveform optimisation and augmented sensor resolution,” he explained. NXP’s Premium Radar SDK’s advanced algorithms aim to address all these challenges, enabling customers to optimally leverage the S32R4x radar processor hardware, he added.

Optimised MIMO waveforms enable radar sensors with higher resolution and longer reach in modulation schemes which allow more transmitters to operate simultaneously. They code the individual transmit antenna signals to ensure they can be differentiated on the receiver side. Higher resolution sensors are used for both corner and front radar applications to support more accurate object separation and classification for use cases such as vulnerable road user detection or park assist functions. 

The Premium Radar SDK implementation complies with International Automotive Quality Management standards IATF 16949:2016 and ASPICE Level 3 requirements. 

NXP offers OEM and Tier 1 suppliers two evaluation options under an evaluation license agreement. The MATLAB-based version delivers the algorithms as compiled code to allow developers to understand what the SDK does by feeding customer test vectors, computing and visualising the output vectors. Providing bit accuracy, the microcontroller-based evaluation option includes the algorithm binary files to run on the NXP target radar processor evaluation board and demonstrates the real time performance of the SDK.


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