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1 June 2009


'Radar on Chip for Cars’ project formed by German car makers and suppliers

BMW Forschung und Technik GmbH, Continental AG, Daimler AG, Infineon Technologies AG and Robert Bosch GmbH have formed the ‘Radar on Chip for Cars’ (RoCC) technology cooperation project, involving joint research that aims to significantly increase driving safety by making highly reliable radar systems available in all vehicle classes.

The three-year project has a budget of more than Euro 17m, supported by a financial grant of Euro 8.3m from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the ITK2020 support program focusing on ‘Innovation Alliance in Automotive Electronics’. The German government’s high-tech strategy promotes efforts made to reduce the overall number of traffic accidents, in this case by helping to introduce innovative safety solutions into the compact and small-vehicle classes as quickly as possible.

In the RoCC project, the five firms (with Infineon as coordinator) aim to work together to develop highly integrated, cost-optimized automotive radar sensor systems in the 76-81GHz frequency range for both long range (up to 250m) and short range (5cm-20m). Additional participants from academia include German universities in Bochum, Bremen, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Stuttgart and Ulm, the Technical University in Munich, and the University of Applied Sciences in Ulm.

A previous BMBF-supported project, KOKON (vehicle high-frequency electronics), laid the foundations for automotive radar sensor technology and provides a technological head start of at least two years for Germany, it is claimed. Results led to the development and market introduction by Infineon of the first silicon germanium (SiGe)-based radar chip family for 77GHz (RASIC) and its use by Bosch in the world’s first silicon-based electronics solution for an automotive 77GHz radar system (LRR3). Using Infineon’s SiGe chips, Continental also developed the first demonstrator of a short-range radar system at 79GHz.

Existing short-range automotive radar sensors use ultra-wideband technology at 24GHz. However, this frequency is licensed in Europe only until 2013. The RoCC project therefore aims to convert the system to the 79GHz frequency range already released by the European Union, and deliver systems that use these higher-frequency sensors at a cost that does not exceed existing 24GHz systems.

Infineon says that this presents a significant challenge to semiconductor technology, sensor design technology and in-vehicle integration that can only be tackled by a joint research project involving key firms in the automotive industry and their suppliers.

See related items:

Infineon SiGe IC used in Bosch automotive radar system

Infineon targets radar ICs at mid-range cars

Search: Infineon Automotive radar system SiGe