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EnSilica Drives Automotive Radar

June 23, 2020

Author: Mike Demler

Automotive radars employ a complex set of analog/digital, DSP, and RF technologies. Although chip vendors such as Analog Devices, NXP, and Texas Instruments offer radar processors as catalog products, UK-based EnSilica has delivered intellectual property (IP), called eSi-ADAS, that enables customers to design custom ASICs. In 2004, it began developing FPGA-based radar signal processors, but that work evolved into a family of accelerator cores it licenses to automotive suppliers. The new IP is the company’s third-generation radar product; it combines the accelerators into a complete radar-imaging coprocessor for automobile electronic control units (ECUs).

Founded in 2001, EnSilica has nearly two decades of analog/digital-ASIC design experience for automotive, con­sumer, health-care, IoT, and RF/communications markets. It began as a design-services house, but it also developed its own licensable IP to address customer applications. Along with the eSi-ADAS, its catalog includes analog, communica­tions, and crypto products. It previously offered 16- and 32-bit CPUs, but it spun that business off to form a separate company called eSi-RISC.

In 2016, EnSilica acquired a medical-equipment company’s analog-design team, thereby gaining the expertise for its eSi-Medisense platform. Medisense integrates EnSilica’s medical-grade sensor-processing IP in a customizable Arm-based ASIC architecture. The technology enables wireless vital-sign monitoring in ultra-low-power disposable medical sensors as well as health-care and sports devices. 

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