Xtrinsic Radar Transmitter from Freescale Improves Performance, Cost and Complexity of Automotive Active Safety Systems

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Xtrinsic Radar Transmitter from Freescale Improves Performance, Cost and Complexity of Automotive Active Safety Systems

Freescale Semiconductor today introduced the new Xtrinsic PRDTX11101 automotive radar transmitter for active safety applications, such as adaptive cruise control. The industry’s first 77 GHz silicon germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS transmitter features an integrated voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and power amplifier for greater control, reduced system design complexity and lower system costs.

Automotive active safety applications, or advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), are a rapidly expanding market. A recent Strategy Analytics report predicts that the market for ADAS, including radar applications, will reach nearly $15 billion by 2019. These are systems that help drivers make better decisions and reduce automobile accidents and fatalities.

Freescale silicon and software are accelerating the availability of ADAS for mainstream vehicles. Featuring scalability, low power consumption and high levels of integration, Freescale offers the industry’s most complete selection of microcontrollers, sensors and analog devices for ADAS. Using Freescale technology, auto equipment manufacturers are able to simplify the highly complex development process and reduce time to market for front, rear and surround cameras, as well as radar for adaptive cruise control.

Adaptive cruise control is enabled by radar, which allows continuous monitoring of the vehicle’s field of view. Freescale’s transmitter solution supports radar sensing up to a 200-meter range and enables the determination of the distance and closing rate between the vehicle and other objects, including cars, stationary objects or pedestrians. If the radar system detects an impending collision, active braking could be applied to prevent an accident if the driver doesn’t respond.

“Freescale is working to make active safety applications more cost-effective for mainstream vehicles, making the roads safer for everyone,” said Dan Viza, director of Millimeter Wave Products at Freescale. “The Xtrinsic PRDTX11101 transmitter reduces the cost and complexity of 77 GHz automotive adaptive cruise control and long-range radar applications as well as short-range automotive applications, such as blind spot detection, lane change assist and cross traffic alerts.”

The new radar transmitter is manufactured using 0.18 µm SiGe BiCMOS technology, which enables integration of the digital control functions in CMOS with millimeter wave frequency capabilities. The integrated VCO combined with power amplifier (PA) stages reduces system complexity and enables a smaller customer circuit board size. The transmitter also features low phase noise, coupled with low power consumption and a wide tuning range, improving the fidelity of the signal and enabling the device to be tuned to a range optimized for specific conditions or applications.

PRDTX11101 key features

The Xtrinsic PRDTX11101 radar transmitter is built on certified HiP6MW SiGe BiCMOS technology designed for 77 GHz radar applications. It features:
Low phase noise at 77 GHz of -93 dBc/Hz at 11 MHz offset frequency
Single supply voltage of 3.3 V
Wide tuning range greater than 6 GHz
The lowest reported frequency pulling to allow software-based phase lock loops (PLL) applications
Low power consumption at 1.5 W, with high output power of 2 x 13 dBm
On-chip frequency divider provides outputs for frequency control
Special PA feature to keep the current consumption on chip stable during activation and de-activation of the transmitted signal to avoid thermal drift of the oscillator signal. Peak power detector enables output power control via open and closed loops
A peak power detector and separate temperature sensor on-chip, enabling users to optimize their application.

Pricing and availability

The Xtrinsic PRDTX11101 radar transmitter is planned for availability in March 2013. Contact a Freescale sales representative for pricing.

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