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NXP S32R Handles Automotive Radar

July 13, 2021

Author: Mike Demler

NXP’s new S32R processors address the entire range of automotive-radar applications, from Level 1 advanced driver-assistance systems (ADASs) to Level 5 self-driving cars. The S32R294 serves as a microcontroller for corner-mounted radars that detect blinds spots and cross traffic as well as for front- and rear-facing sensors in adaptive cruise control (ACC), autonomous emergency braking (AEB), forward/reverse collision warning (FCW/RCW), and other ADASs.

The S32R45 is a much more powerful SoC that processes data from multiple high-resolution imaging radars, delivering angular resolution of less than one degree for object classification, enhanced detection, and precise positioning. Its multimode capability enables a single sensor to operate as a short-, medium-, or long-range radar (SRR, MRR, or LRR). TSMC manufactures both chips in 16nm technology.

The radar processors work with NXP’s TEF82xx transceivers, which operate in the 76–81GHz band and support short- to long-range modes. The transceivers are cascadable: as many as four of them can form a high-resolution MIMO system comprising up to 192 virtual antennas. Each chip integrates four receivers and three transmitters using 40nm RF-CMOS technology, connecting to the S32R45 and S32R294 through MIPI CSI interfaces. Systems that combine the S32R processors with corner, front, rear, and side radars provide the data necessary to create a 360-degree environmental model for Level 3 and above autonomous driving.

The S32R294 is in volume production, and NXP expects the S32R45 and TEF82xx to enter volume production by the end of the year. As the largest automotive-semiconductor supplier, it has an extensive catalog that features a complete set of radar support chips, including the TJA144x CAN transceiver, TJA1101 Ethernet PHY, and TJA1081x FlexRay interface chip. It also offers a line of power-management integrated circuits (PMICs), such as the multichannel PF5200.

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