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16 September 2015

Infineon's high-frequency radar chip team nominated for Deutscher Zukunftspreis

The high-frequency radar chip team at Infineon Technologies AG of Munich, Germany has been nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2015 (German Future Award), the German President's Award for Innovation in Science and Technology.

Radar systems in cars measure the distance to other vehicles and their speed in relation to each other in order to give drivers early warning and trigger braking in emergencies. "Radar is a very sophisticated technology. It helps to prevent road accidents and save lives, and also makes driving much more comfortable, for instance in lines of traffic," says Infineon's CEO Dr Reinhard Ploss. "With innovative solutions, the Infineon team has managed to reduce the cost of radar systems considerably. Radar systems that have been confined to drivers of premium cars to date will become affordable for all drivers," he adds. "The nomination acknowledges our employees' outstanding achievements. It is an incentive for further innovations that will not only bring about technical novelties but also prevail on the market and improve people's lives."

Radar technology operates on the basis of high-frequency electromagnetic oscillations sent out as millimeter waves. The standard frequency range for automotive radar applications (such as adaptive cruise control and collision warning) is 77GHz. These high frequencies are necessary to ensure the accuracy of measurements. The radar chips from Infineon send and receive these high-frequency signals and pass them on to the radar electronic control unit.

The jury has nominated Ralf Bornefeld, Dr Walter Hartner and Dr Rudolf Lachner for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis and has hence acknowledged two key innovations that have initiated the breakthrough of radar systems in the automotive market. Infineon claims to be the first company to develop highly integrated circuits for the 77GHz frequency range based on silicon (Si) and silicon germanium (SiGe) instead of gallium arsenide (GaAs) typically used before. Using Si and SiGe material leads to much lower product costs of radar systems. The second innovation is the new packaging technology eWLB (embedded wafer-level ball-grid array), which offers good high-frequency characteristics and simplifies the further processing of radar chips at the automotive system provider. This means another substantial reduction in system costs of the radar system, says Infineon.

In July, Infineon reported that the ten-millionth radar chip for cars had been shipped. The next ten million are already due to be shipped within the next year. Infineon produces its radar chips solely in Germany, with all stages of the process – from chip manufacturing to processing in the package – carried out at its manufacturing plants in Regensburg and Dresden.

This is the fourth time that Infineon has been nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis (in 1998 as Siemens Semiconductor group). The German President has conferred this award for innovation in science and technology since 1997 to reward outstanding achievements in technology, engineering and the natural sciences with great market potential for the German economy. Three teams have been nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2015 from a total of 24 proposed technology projects. A jury of independent experts from academia and business selects the nominees and the winner. German President Joachim Gauck will announce the winner and present the award on 2 December in Berlin, Germany.

See related items:

Infineon delivers 10 millionth automotive radar chip

Infineon receives Bosch supplier award for SiGe 77GHz automotive radar chips

Tags: Infineon SiGe

Visit: www.infineon.com/deutscher-zukunftspreis

Visit: www.deutscher-zukunftspreis.de

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