Infineon delivers 10 millionth automotive radar chip
Infineon Technologies AG of Munich, Germany has shipped its 10 millionth high-frequency radar chip. The silicon germanium (SiGe) 77GHz chips are used in radar-based driver assistance systems that recognize objects at ranges of up to 250m. Infineon estimates that in 2014 nearly 50% of 77GHz radar systems in vehicles were equipped with its technology.
In a recent study, market research firm IHS Technology declared Infineon the global market leader in 77GHz chips, which is the standard frequency range for radar applications such as adaptive cruise control (ACC) and collision warning. The first 10 million of these radar chips from Infineon were incorporated primarily in premium and luxury vehicles over the past six years. Infineon anticipates increasing demand and expects that, within the next year, up to 10 million radar chips will also be used in mid-sized and compact cars. So, statistically, one out of every 20 cars will be using a driver assistance system with a 77GHz radar chip from Infineon.
Market research firm Strategy Analytics also confirmed this trend towards safety systems in cars. It expects that in the next five years applications such as distance warning systems and automatic emergency braking will grow by more than 25% annually, due partly to the rating scheme from the independent organization Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) that reviews the safety of new vehicles sold in Europe. To achieve the highest rating of five stars, a new car must have a radar-based driver assistance system. Strategy Analytics forecasts that, of the 105 million new vehicles expected to be built in 2020, more than 20 million will use a radar-based distance warning system. So, about 20% of all new vehicles worldwide would be equipped with such a system.
“Our chips make driver assistance systems increasingly accurate and more cost-effective,” says Jochen Hanebeck, president of Infineon’s Automotive division. “Radar-based driver assistance systems using Infineon chips now are becoming the standard in mid-range and compact cars,” he claims. “They are an important growth market for Infineon. Our high system knowledge and close cooperation with leading system suppliers and car manufacturers around the world are key elements to our success.”
Even in poor visibility situations, radar chips in the 77GHz range make it possible for vehicles to ‘recognize’ other road users at a distance of up to 250m, allowing a car to indicate a hazardous traffic situation in time and brake automatically.
In addition to 77GHz radar chips for active safety systems, for distances up to 100m Infineon also offers radar chips in the 24GHz frequency range (mostly for monitoring blind spots). The radar system alerts drivers to vehicles behind them when passing or changing lanes. When parking, the radar detects cross-traffic in the rear and prevents collisions.