Continental relies on Xilinx SoCs for Next-Gen Radar systems

September 23, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Continental relies on Xilinx SoCs for Next-Gen Radar systems
In developing a new 4D radar sensor generation, the technology provider Continental relies on multi-processor SoCs from Xilinx's Zynq UltraScale+ family. The cooperation with Xilinx enables Continental's automotive customers to implement driver assistance systems with SAE Level 2 functionality, i.e. ADAS takes over longitudinal and lateral guidance - an important evolutionary step on the road to autonomous driving.

With the ARS540, Continental is presenting a high-resolution long-range radar sensor for the next generation of vehicles. The sensor not only detects the distance, relative speed and azimuth of objects, but also their height above road level - which is why Continental calls it a "4D" radar. Previous radar sensors have only detected objects in a very narrow, low height range above the road; this could lead to dangerous situations because, for example, truck trailers at right angles to the road were not registered. The new sensor also detects potholes and kerbs as well as tunnel entrances etc. 

The ARS450 has a sophisticated antenna array with digital beamforming. With this, as well as with 28 physical and 192 virtual antenna channels, the device is able to generate high-resolution radar images. The amount of data generated is considerably higher than with previous radar sensors, so Continental had to look for a more powerful processor platform. Xilinx's Zynq UltraScale+ was chosen because it delivers 20 times the processing power of the previous platform for raw data and 10 times the performance for object tracking, said Willard Tu, Senior Director of Xilinx's automotive division.

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