The gigahertz radars used in autonomous self driving vehicles need to have the ability to accurately detect smaller objects such as pedestrians and bikes. These radars also need to detect objects in dusty foggy and lowlight conditions. The automotive electronics companies and research agencies now working on higher frequency radars so that they can detect smaller objects accurately. The other issue with the radars for autonomous driving includes a bigger size, costly devices and also accuracy. All these issues are addressed by RF CMOS transceivers.
Automotive electronics chip maker Infineon and nanotech semiconductor researcher imec are working on CMOS-based 79 GHz sensor chips for automotive radar applications.
Imec has already developed first 79 GHz radar transmitter implemented in plain digital 28nm CMOS. Panasonic is another partner working with Imec in developing 79 GHz transceiver chip for phase modulated continuous wave radar.
Another major early innovator in this area is NXP Semiconductors. Dolphin, NXP’s 80GHz chip uses digital CMOS process technology, integrate front-end radar transmitter with a baseband — all in CMOS.
Earlier to CMOS silicon germanium and gallium arsenide devises were used for radars in autonomous driving applications.
The advancement in millimetre wave electronics could help to built complete wireless transceiver in a single chip fabricated using CMOS process. The challenge with CMOS RF is managing the process variability.
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.
To learn the technology of fabricating gigahertz RF CMOS transceiver chip, a quite detailed paper titled " Wireless Communications at 60 GHz: a single chip solution on CMOS technology" is published at the URL: