Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - September 2021 - 13

Sensors
communicate at different times, creating
massive numbers of virtual channels. "
These higher-resolution sensors
are critical for advanced ADAS and
high-level automated vehicles, experts
note. At highway speeds, they offer more
time to determine what's ahead, while at
city speeds, the same radar devices can
provide wider fields of view.
" There's a lot of growth for longrange,
4D high-resolution imaging
radar, high-performance radars with
more signal channels than you find
in most mass-market passenger cars
today, " Whydell said. " Our long-range
radars have a distance of up to 350
meters. At high speeds, the beam is
narrow; at slower speeds, energy shifts
to a " flood, " more with a wider field
of view. "
Tiny is terrific
Engineers want the benefits that come
from using multiple sensors, but
design stylists don't want sensors to
mar their sleek exterior lines. Those
competing concerns put pressure on
sensor designers, making package size
even more critical than it's been in
the past. That concern ripples out to
wiring harnesses that connect sensors
to controllers.
Radar size has reduced dramatically
over the past several years, driven
in part by declining prices and a shift
to higher frequencies. A few years ago,
24-GHz modules that cost well over
$100 were fairly common. But 77-GHz
devices that cost in the realm of $50 now
are mainstream. That helps increase
distance performance while trimming
both size and cost.
" Moving to 77 GHz gives you
smaller packages
so more can be
squeezed in - people are also adding the
antenna in the basic package, " Duncan
said. " The circuit boards used for radar
are expensive, so making them small
reduces the price significantly. "
When packaging engineers devise
ways to trim size and lower cost,
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engineers often clamor for more components.
Small packages are easier for
stylists to hide. Tiny packages also can
be housed in areas like headlights and
by rearview mirrors, where they're less
likely to get dirty or be covered by snow.
" We see a trend to integrate sensors
in small spaces on vehicles, such as
door handles or headlights, for better
coverage, " Desai said. " Antenna-onpackage
technology enables extremely
small form factor that removes small
space constraints and enables sensor
integration into new places enabling
newer applications and functions inside
and outside the vehicles. "
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Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - September 2021

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