NXP ramps flagship 4D imaging radar chip to production
NXP Semiconductors has announced two updates to its automotive radar portfolio, now designed-in at 20 top global OEMs.
The industry’s first dedicated 16nm imaging radar processor, the NXP S32R45, has been released into mass production, with initial customer ramp-up starting in the first half 2022. Additionally, the NXP S32R41 has been introduced to extend 4D imaging radar’s benefits to a much larger number of vehicles. Together these processors serve the L2+ through L5 autonomy sectors, enabling 4D imaging radar for 360-degree surround sensing.
Imaging radar extends radar’s ability beyond detecting bulky objects to “seeing” a vehicle’s environment through fine resolution point clouds that enhance environmental mapping and scene understanding. These images enable the classification of objects, such as vulnerable road-users and vehicles, in complex urban scenarios, such as a motorcycle driving close to a large delivery truck or a child entering a roadway between parked cars. In addition, imaging radar needs to be able to simultaneously measure velocity and classify objects at distances of up to 300m, beyond the range of human eyesight. It also needs to identify fast-moving vehicles and distinguish them from slower ones or even static obstacles, like a lost tire, in the driver’s path. NXP addresses these needs with its latest imaging radar processor updates.
NXP’s 4D imaging radar is the first to deliver concurrent 3-in-1 multi-mode radar sensing across short, mid, and long-range operation, enabling the simultaneous sensing of a very wide field of view around the car. To achieve this, NXP leverages an innovative architecture to boost performance beyond raw sensor hardware capabilities with a low-complexity sensor configuration utilising 192 virtual antenna channels.
The boost is enabled by the combination of proprietary radar hardware acceleration which can deliver up to 64x the compute performance of standard processors, super-resolution radar software algorithms to achieve sub-degree angular resolution and advanced MIMO waveforms that allow simultaneous operation of antenna channels. This architecture also helps overcome the limitations of other high-resolution sensors like LIDAR and high antenna count massive MIMO radar, whose cost and complexity limit their applications to a narrow set of use cases.
“NXP’s new imaging radar processors are shaping the way vehicles understand the world around them by creating high resolution images that enhance the detection and classification of objects, a key step in improving road safety and saving lives,” said Torsten Lehmann, EVP and GM, Radio Frequency Processing, NXP. “The extended S32Rfamily line-up harnesses our leadership in radar processing, super-resolution algorithms and advanced MIMO waveforms to deliver the benefits of imaging radar to the rapidly growing L2+ vehicle segment.”
NXP Imaging Radar Updates
The introduction of the S32R41 delivers a 16nm radar processor tailored for L2+ autonomous driving applications, which some industry analysts project could account for close to 50% of vehicle production by 2030. The L2+ segment, which was not well served by classical high-resolution sensors, will now benefit from 4D imaging radar sensing with up to six corner, front and rear radar sensors in 360-degree surround fashion.
The S32R45 radar processoris the flagship of NXP’s 6th generation automotive radar chipset family. It helps to enable increasingly autonomous driving, from L2+ through the most demanding L5 use cases, where more than 10 imaging radar sensors per vehicle may be required. It also addresses transportation, traffic management and other industrial applications where reliable high-resolution sensing is required.
The combination of NXP’s S32R45 and S32R41 radar processors with the NXP TEF82xx RFCMOS transceivers delivers the fine angular resolution, processing power and range required for production-ready imaging radar solutions. The S32R platform offers a common architecture for software reuse and speedy development along with a highly performant hardware security engine, OTA update support and compliance with the newest cybersecurity standards.
NXP at CES 2022
Visitors to the NXP booth at CES can see a live demonstration of NXP’s radar capabilities via an imaging radar sensor built in collaboration with radar platform and ADAS application expert CubTEK, showcasing enhanced 4D sensing capability with its ability to deliver image-like sensing and sub-degree angular resolution.
Due to the strict COVID-19 rules, NXP invites visitors to the booth to book an appointment slot for the live demonstration of the S32R45 imaging radar system.