Sub-mW radar chip supports presence detection up to 15m

February 19, 2019 //By Julien Happich
Sub-mW radar chip supports presence detection up to 15m
At the 2019 International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC2019), imec has unveiled a 40nm CMOS-based 1.8mm2 UWB radar chip for presence detection, drawing less than 1mW in operation.

Consuming 100 times less power than other solutions, the tiny chip is capable of detecting even micro-movements from human respiration, up to a distance of 15 meters, which makes it suitable for low-cost battery-powered presence-detection and people counting applications in offices, hospitals and on industrial sites.

The new 8GHz UWB radar was developed by imec the Netherlands (within the framework of Holst Centre, Eindhoven). While cameras are especially good at 2D images, radar is superior in detecting movement and distance and is a better fit for presence detection, people tracking or activity classification when privacy considerations are key, such as in office spaces, hotel rooms, or hospitals. Another advantage is the robustness of radar to suboptimal light conditions. Imec’s new transceiver is compliant with FCC and ETSI spectral regulations for the UWB frequency range, limiting the radiation to -41dBm/MHz. This energy density is well below the noise floor of mainstream commercial systems, and therefore, this radar can safely be used for 24/7 people presence detection without health concerns.

Imec – www.imec.be

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