NXP starts production of 2nd gen 77GHz automotive radar transceiver

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

NXP has released its second-generation RFCMOS radar transceiver family for production. The TEF82xx is the successor to the market-proven TEF810x, of which tens of millions have already been shipped. Optimised for fast chirp modulation, the device supports short, medium and long range radar applications, including cascaded high resolution radars. It also supports 360-degree sensing for critical safety applications such as automatic emergency braking and speed adaptation, blind spot monitoring, cross-traffic alerts and automatic parking.

Radar is becoming one of the most important sensor modalities for safety applications, both for ADAS functions in classic passenger cars and for MaaS (Mobility as a Service) solutions. On the way to fully autonomous driving, the more demanding use cases require higher RF performance to “see” further into the distance (> 300 m) and finer resolution down to sub-degree levels to accurately detect, distinguish and classify smaller objects. The TEF82xx radar transceivers make all this possible. NXP’s scalable family of S32R radar processors, combined with the NXP TEF82xx RFCMOS radar transceivers, delivers the angular resolution, computational power and range required for production-ready radar solutions.

The fully integrated RFCMOS chips include three transmitters, four receivers, ADC converters, phase rotators and low phase noise VCOs. The NXP TEF82xx also includes integrated safety monitors and external interfaces for MIPI-CSI2 and LVDS and complies with ISO26262 and ASIL Level B standards.

The devices are based on NXP’s RFCMOS technology and production design and is said to offer significant improvements over the previous generation. RF performance has almost doubled, alongside a +6 dB improvement in phase noise to -95 dBc/Hz, an output power of 14 dBm and a receiver noise figure of 11.5 dB.

The radar chip uses an ultra-compact eWLB package with exposed die, which enables the most demanding applications in high-performance radar sensors through optimised heat dissipation properties. A particularly short chirp return time of only 4µs reduces the time between signal ramps, optimises the sensor’s power consumption and enables the possible velocity estimates to be improved by closely stringing the chirps together.

Developers can easily create and optimise applications without spending time manually fine-tuning the accelerator software using the comprehensive radar application algorithm library provided by the Radar Software Development Kit (RSDK) for automotive applications. Engineers can also access the resources they need for faster development by leveraging NXP’s large ecosystem of compilers, development environments, MCALS (Microcontroller abstraction layers in the Autosar context), and free and commercial RTOS support.

For high-performance radar applications requiring four NXP TEF82xx radar transceivers in cascade with our high-performance S32R45 processor, OEMs can achieve ranges of up to 300 m or more with sub-degree resolutions for azimuth and elevation. According to NXP, the chip is already in the final stages of qualification with customers for radar modules based on the device. Production is expected to start at the end of this year, with some carmakers aiming for a market launch as early as model years 23/24.

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