Renesas buys Indian 4D imaging radar tech company

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Renesas Electronics Corporation has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Steradian Semiconductors Private Limited, a fabless semiconductor company based in Bengaluru, India. The company provides 4D imaging radar solutions. The acquisition of Steradian’s radar technology will enable Renesas to extend its reach in the radar market.

With the advancements of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), automotive sensor fusion demand is growing to allow precise and accurate object detection of vehicles’ surroundings by combining data from multiple sensors, such as cameras, radar and lidar. Radar in particular detects objects over long distances, day or night, even during harsh weather or other adverse environmental conditions. For these reasons, radar is considered an essential sensing technology for ADAS, and the number of radar sensors installed in vehicles is expected to triple over the next five years. To respond to this growth potential, Renesas is expanding its automotive product portfolio with Steradian’s radar technology.

“Radar is an indispensable technology for ADAS, which uses a complex combination of various sensors,” said Hidetoshi Shibata, President and CEO of Renesas. “The addition of Steradian’s superb radar technology and engineering talent will allow us to extend our leadership in the automotive segments. We will also leverage their technology for industrial applications to drive our mid- to long-term business growth in both segments.”

Steradian CEO Gireesh Rajendran added that Renesas’ portfolio of embedded solutions and broad customer base will serve as an ideal foundation to maximize Steradian’s radar technology worldwide. “By working together with the Renesas team, we will continue to develop innovative radar solutions that deliver the high performance, small footprint and low power consumption that our customers desire,” he said.

Founded in 2016, Steradian is said to have extensive expertise in radar technology. Operating in the 76-81 GHz band, Steradian’s 4D radar transceivers offer a high level of integration in a small form factor and high power efficiency. Renesas will leverage Steradian’s design assets and expertise to develop automotive radar products, with plans to start sample shipments by the end of 2022. The company aims to develop complete automotive radar solutions that combine ADAS SoCs (System-on-Chips) for processing radar signals, power management ICs (PMICs), and timing products together with software for object recognition. Collectively, these solutions will simplify the design of automotive radar systems and contribute to faster product development.

Renesas and Steradian have been collaborating since 2018, mainly in industrial applications. Steradian’s radar technology is expected to be adopted in home security systems such as surveillance, traffic monitoring for people, cars and motorcycles, HMI (Human-Machine Interface) systems such as gesture recognition and docking systems in airport terminals. Steradian provides targeted solutions for these applications by offering transceiver ICs, turnkey modules that include antennas, and software stacks for object recognition.

For the last several years, Renesas has been expanding its connectivity and analog products to complement its core processing products for embedded systems. With the acquisition of Steradian, Renesas hopes to bring together the best possible devices and software to meet the growing demand for sensor technology solutions for automotive and industrial customers, to make their design work easier, the company said in a press release.

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions. The transaction will be paid in cash; the amount was not disclosed.

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