NXP Semiconductors is investing in 4D radar startup Zendar to accelerate the development of autonomous driving (AD) and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
NXP and Zendar will collaborate on enhanced high-resolution 4D radar systems for automotive applications using Zendar’s Distributed Aperture Radar (DAR) that simplifies the system design.
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. It coherently fuses information from multiple radar sensors on a vehicle to create a larger effective antenna that achieves unprecedented sensing resolution.
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The 4D radar technology enables high-angular resolution below 0.5 degrees, offering lidar-like performance which is essential for precise mapping of the environment, whereas conventional radar sensors operate between 2 and 4 degrees. In addition, DAR offers further potential to enhance the resolution through flexible mounting techniques.
The two are developing a radar platform based on the NXP S32R radar processor platform and RFCMOS SAF8x one-chip SoCs, which are tailored to cover a wide range of vehicle architectures as they move to distributed architectures. Car makers and Tier 1 suppliers will benefit from simplified standard radars with reduced thermal complexity and a smaller radar footprint for flexible and convenient mounting.
NXP says the undisclosed investment reinforces its technology leadership in the automotive radar market while strengthening the ecosystem, which marks the next step towards improved road safety. Zendar raised $4m last year from a group including Hyundai Mobi for the 4D radar technology.
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“DAR technology is fundamentally early fusion from distributed radar modules,” said Vinayak Nagpal, Co-Founder and CEO of Zendar. “NXP’s industry-leading radar portfolio is essential to deploy DAR in automotive. The lidar-like performance of DAR is a breakthrough for next-generation ADAS. I am excited to usher this industry revolution in collaboration with NXP.”
“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,” said Steffen Spannagel, SVP and GM, ADAS, NXP. “The comprehensive solution allows flexible DAR processing either on the edge or zones to support carmakers’ diverse ADAS vehicle architectures.”
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.
Application development can start immediately, and the launch is expected to be scheduled for next-generation OEM platforms.