Infineon has developed radar technology for cars and devices. The company has reached separate agreements with Google and Imec on applications for the technology.
With Google, Infineon has developed gesture control technology, which would allow users to control their devices by waving their arms about, and more subtle movements.
The radar technology – called “Soli” – was demonstrated at Google I/O through a smartwatch and a wireless speaker.
Ivan Poupyrev, technical project lead at Google Advanced Technology and Projects Group, says: “Gesture sensing offers a new opportunity to revolutionize the human-machine interface by enabling mobile and fixed devices with a third dimension of interaction.
“This will fill the existing gap with a convenient alternative for touch- and voice controlled interaction.”
Andreas Urschitz, president of the division power management and multimarket at Infineon, says: “Since mankind started using tools 2.4 million years ago, this is the first time in history that tools adapt to their users, rather than the other way round.”
Infineon and Google ATAP aim at addressing numerous markets with Soli radar technology. Among these are home entertainment, mobile devices and the internet of things (IoT).
Radar chips from Infineon as well as Google ATAP’s software and interaction concepts form the basis. Both companies are preparing for the joint commercialization of the Soli technology.
“Sophisticated haptic algorithms combined with highly integrated and miniaturized radar chips can foster a huge variety of applications,” adds Urschitz.
Meanwhile, Infineon has developed radar sensor chips for fully autonomous cars, in collaboration with Imec, a nanoelectronics research centre.
Infineon and Imec expect the to launch the CMOS sensor chip towards the end of this year, with a complete radar system demonstrator scheduled for the beginning of 2017.
Typically, there are up to three radar systems in today’s vehicle equipped with driver assistance functions. In the future, with fully automated cars up to ten radar systems and ten more sensor systems using camera or lidar technologies may potentially be utilized.
Ralf Bornefeld, vice president and general manager, sense and control, Infineon, says: “Infineon enables the radar-based safety cocoon of the partly and fully automated car.
“In the future, we will manufacture radar sensor chips as a single-chip solution in a classic CMOS process for applications like automated parking. Infineon will continue to set industry standards in radar technology and quality.”
Wim Van Thillo, program director perceptive systems at Imec, says: “We are excited to work with Infineon as a valuable partner in our R&D program on advanced CMOS-based 77 GHz and 79 GHz radar technology.
“Compared to the mainstream 24 GHz band, the 77 GHz and 79 GHz bands enable a finer range, Doppler and angular resolution. With these advantages, we aim to realize radar prototypes with integrated multiple-input, multiple-output antennas that not only detect large objects, but also pedestrians and bikers and thus contribute to a safer environment for all.”