Texas Instruments unveils single-chip mmwave CMOS sensors

Designed for automotive and industrial use, the AWR1x and IWR1x sensors are the smallest footprint complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensors, says Texas Instruments.

There are five millimeter wave (mmWave), single-chip, CMOS devices, making up two families of 76 to 81GHz sensors.

The AWR1x and IWR1x sensor portfolio delivers up to three times more accurate sensing than current mmWave solutions on the market, claims Texas Instruments. They pair analogue design techniques with digital signal processing (DSP) to enable designers to implement intelligent and contactless sensing in their systems. 

The AWR1x and IWR1x sensors integrated CMOS single-chip can include a DSP and microcontroller (MCU) or a single-chip with just an MCU or DSP. Each chip delivers smart, standalone sensing with less than a 40mm range resolution, and range accuracy down to less than 50-micrometers and a range up to 300m.

They also reduce power consumption board space, says TI, with the mmWave 76- to 81GHz single-chip sensors dynamically adapting to changing conditions, bring multi modal functionality to avoid false positives.

The IWR1x and AWR1x mmWave sensors can sense accurately through plastic, dry wall, clothing, glass and many other materials, and through environmental conditions such as lighting, rain, dust, fog or frost.

A TI mmWave software development kit (SDK) includes sample algorithms and software libraries which simplify radio frequency (RF) designs through less than 20 simple application programming interfaces (APIs). By leveraging TI’s mmWave SDK platform engineers can start developing their applications in less than 30 minutes, claims the company.

Traditionally, developers have encountered obstacles while creating Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International Level 2 and above functionality in vehicles. Sensor size and power are cited as particular hindrances. TI’s AWR1x mmWave portfolio allows developers to meet these requirements through built-in quality standards, precision in a small form factor and low-power envelope, says the company. Designers can not only enhance advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving safety features— including ISO 26262 which enables automotive safety integrity level (ASIL)-B— but also deliver new features such as automated parking assistance, pedestrian detection, and occupancy and driver monitoring.

For industrial applications, the intelligent mmWave sensors can be used to transform existing capabilities in areas such as medical equipment, tank-level sensing, robotic vision and drones. TI’s IWR1x mmWave contactless sensors can be used in environments without interference from lighting, rain, dust, fog or frost, making them robust indoors or outdoors. By determining the range, velocity and angle of objects around the equipment, the sensors can adapt to dynamic scenarios instantaneously.

Developers can get started immediately with AWR1x and IWR1x – evaluation modules (EVMs) and samples available through the TI store and authorised distributors.

http://www.ti.com

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