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Infineon and Hella develop new compact, lower-cost 24 GHz blind spot radar sensor

Semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies, together with the German automotive supplier Hella, has developed innovative radio-frequency components for a 24 GHz radar sensor which reliably monitors the blind spot in the car’s rear section (Blind Spot Detection).

The module saves space and costs through the integration of multiple, formerly separate components into one transceiver and features low power consumption at improved performance. Due to this efficiency increase, serial production of the driver assistance system is made possible for vehicles outside of the premium segment.

Hella’s 24-GHz radar sensor system detects moving objects even in poor weather and independent of the direction and speed of their motion. Optimized antenna concepts furthermore facilitate an even higher measuring accuracy. For example, when passing others or changing lanes, the system warns of vehicles coming from behind. When parking, the radar registers cross-traffic in the rear to prevent collisions.

Infineon’s new Microwave Monolithic Integrated Circuits (MMICs) of the BGT24Axxas chip family are the key components contributing to the efficiency increase of the driver assistance system. They improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), whereby they ensure higher precision in the detection and signaling of objects in the blind spot. As fully integrated transceivers, the Infineon MMICs contain all high-frequency components, such as oscillators, transmission amplifiers and reception branches with low-noise amplifiers and I/Q mixers.

24GHz
Block diagram for 24 GHz radar system. The MMICs are tagged. Source: Infineon. Click to enlarge.

Hella’s radar system thereby becomes smaller, more affordable and it consumes less power. Infineon’s 24-GHz chip family moreover enables a custom-fit configuration of the hardware, depending on the system environment and application field.

By the year 2020, the number of worldwide installed, radar-supported driver assistance systems is forecast to rise from presently about 14 million to more than 40 million; the Blind Spot Detection system will play a decisive role in this context (Strategy Analytics 2013). The third generation of Hella’s radar module will be available from now on in series production and as optional equipment in any vehicle and model class, even outside of the premium segment.

The HELLA Group develops and manufactures components and systems in lighting technology and electronic products for the automobile industry and has one of the largest retail organizations for vehicle parts, accessories and diagnostics in Europe. Furthermore, complete vehicle modules, air-conditioning and on-board network systems are produced in joint ventures. The HELLA Group is among the top 50 of the automotive suppliers around the world and one of the largest German industrial enterprises with a preliminary sales result of around €5.3 billion in the business year 2013/2014.

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