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NXP invests in Zendar to accelerate the development of high-resolution radar for automotive applications

NXP Semiconductors N.V. announced an investment in and collaboration with Zendar Inc., a software start-up developing autonomous vehicle systems with high-resolution radar. The investment aims to accelerate and improve high-resolution radar solutions for autonomous driving (AD) and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to complement NXP’s scalable radar portfolio.

NXP and Zendar will collaborate on enhanced high-resolution radar systems for automotive applications by leveraging Distributed Aperture Radar (DAR), a technology developed by Zendar that allows a simplified system solution approach. The investment reinforces NXP’s technology leadership in the automotive radar market while strengthening the ecosystem, which marks the next step towards improved road safety.

Both AD and ADAS applications require high-resolution sensing to ensure the vehicle moves safely on the road. DAR offers a smart path to enhance the resolution of high-performance radar systems while eliminating the need for thousands of antenna channels.

DAR coherently fuses information from multiple radar sensors on a vehicle to create a larger effective antenna that achieves unprecedented sensing resolution. The technology enables high-angular resolution below 0.5 degrees, offering lidar-like performance which is essential for precise mapping of the environment; conventional radar sensors operate between 2 and 4 degrees. In addition, DAR offers further potential to enhance the resolution through flexible mounting techniques.

The radar solutions will be based on NXP’s widely adopted S32R radar processor platform and RFCMOS SAF8x one-chip SoCs, which are tailored to cover car OEMs’ ever diversifying vehicle architectures and help accelerate the transition toward distributed architectures. Car makers and Tier 1 suppliers will benefit from high-resolution systems developed with substantially simplified standard radars with reduced thermal complexity and a smaller radar footprint for flexible and convenient mounting.

Zendar’s innovative technology combined with NXP’s state-of-the-art radar portfolio aims to enable high-resolution radar sensing for both, edge and upcoming distributed vehicle architectures. Together with Zendar, we are bringing this exciting new technology to the OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. The comprehensive solution allows flexible DAR processing either on the edge or zones to support carmakers’ diverse ADAS vehicle architectures.

—Steffen Spannagel, SVP and GM, ADAS, NXP

Application development can start immediately, and the launch is expected to be scheduled for next-generation OEM platforms.

NXP offers a complete suite of radar sensor solutions that is designed to surround vehicles in a 360-degree safety cocoon. The scalable suite of sensing solutions covers car OEMs’ ever-diversifying use cases and architectures, from corner radar to high-resolution 4D imaging radar. The S32R platform offers a common architecture for software reuse and speedy development, a highly performant hardware security engine (HSE), over-the-air (OTA) update support, and compliance with the newest cybersecurity standards. The latest addition to NXP’s scalable radar portfolio is the industry-first 28nm RFCMOS radar one-chip IC family SAF85xx for next-generation New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) applications.



We are going to have a lot of radar pollution in urban areas without some kind of radar EM traffic management, and the health risk of pedestrians bombarded with that is a issue to study. C-V2X is a much better way to achieve L5 ADAS with C-V2X equivalent to a super power sensor. Passive systems like FLIR and cameras are also key, but radar needs better technical governance and administration.

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