60GHz mmWave radar for driver monitoring and touchless interfaces

August 04, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
60GHz mmWave radar for driver monitoring and interface
Imec in Belgium has developed a low power millimeter-wave motion detection radar at 60GHz in standard 28nm CMOS.

With a 2cm resolution, the radar is optimized for vital sign monitoring and gesture recognition for driver monitoring and touch-free interfaces.

The compact chip was developed as part of the EU PRYSTINE project and uses fast modulated waves, with a frequency increase of 12 percent in just 51.2 microseconds. A high modulation bandwidth (7.2 GHz) determines the sensor’s resolution, which makes it suitable for 3D sensing of finger motions and hand swiping and gestures. Experiments have demonstrated the sensor’s ability for multi-target detection, heartbeat detection at 5m

The system only consumes 62mW which is significantly lower compared to state-of-the-art radars in this frequency range. A quick start-up time of 1µs supports aggressive duty-cycling for further power reduction. The 4.15 mm² transceiver chip is integrated in 28nm bulk CMOS technology, ensuring a low-cost solution at high volume production. A reference module design is available for the single-channel radar, including the antenna and achieving good spillover performance.

“Being extremely compact and energy efficient, the 60 GHz radar system can be integrated in smart health devices such as smartphones, health monitoring systems or wearables”, says Barend van Liempd, program manager radar at imec. “The radar enables such devices to sense their surroundings, which will shape the way in which we control and use these devices.”

 “Our prototype shows that radar technology is becoming ready for the next big step: the use in battery-powered devices. Now, we are looking for companies that want to exploit these ideas to enter the market by realizing new radar solutions,” said Kathleen Philips, Director IoT at imec.


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