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Miniature 120-GHz Radar Sensor presented at ISSCC in San Francisco

Silicon-based chip is key enabler for low-cost miniature radar at 120 GHz.

Dr. Yaoming Sun from IHP will present latest research results on millimeter-wave circuit design at 60th International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) taking place from February 17-21 in San Francisco. The ISSCC is the most prestigious international conference devoted to the design of integrated circuits (ICs).

122-GHz Radar chip (left) and SiP (right)

IHP scientists in collaboration with the Frankfurt (Oder) based company Silicon Radar, the University of Karlsruhe and industrial partner Bosch succeeded in demonstrating for the first time a functional radar sensor with integrated antenna which transmits and receives radar signals at a frequency of 120 GHz. This allows accurate contactless measurement of short distances. The sensor was developed in the framework of the European project with the promising name SUCCESS.

At the IHP, circuit designers and technologists are working in close cooperation. In this way, the advantages of the Silicon-Germanium BiCMOS technology are exploited to develop highly complex IC’s. The main advantage of this technology is the combination of extremely fast bipolar transistors with transit frequencies in excess of 300 GHz and MOS (Metall Oxid Semiconductor) transistors on the same chip. This allows complete radar systems with dimensions of a few millimeters to be built.

The applications of this revolutionary “system in package” (SiP) are manifold. The low-cost miniature sensor systems can be used in industrial systems, security systems, and in the automotive industry. Examples are distance radar, motion detectors, shock absorber monitoring, and sensors for material characterization. In this way, the low-cost silicon-based SiP solution will help to reduce the number of accidents on our roads.

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Heidrun Förster | idw
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