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Electronics and Semiconductors

TI Announces Smaller, Lighter mmWAVE Sensor Chip

16 May 2017

Texas Instrument’s new lighter-weight, lower-power version of its mmWAVE chip offers greater accuracy -- measuring down to the width of a human hair. TI is introducing two families of the chips, one for automotive (AWR) and the other for industrial applications (IWR).

The new design integrates analog and digital functions into a single chip using a CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) process. Previous iterations of the mmWAVE chips used discrete components.

Scalable software can direct the chip to switch from long to short-range radar. In an automobile, this feature would switch focus from long-range on a thruway to short-range for parking.

“Combining all those discrete components into a single piece of silicon, you can save nearly three-quarters of the size and weight of today’s components,” noted Robert Ferguson, marketing director for industrial mmWave sensors at TI.

The AWR three-chip family supports a suite of ADAS (automated driver-assistance system) applications including front long-range radar and short-range radar for proximity-sensing, driving functions like emergency braking and blind spot warning.

The two IWR chips are aimed at the industrial market. Suggested applications include factory monitoring and control, industrial transport, motor drives and building automation.

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