Single-chip radars have been available for several years now and their use in automotive applications continues to grow. One recent improvement is expected to further increase their adoption—integrating the antenna with the IC, creating a much smaller overall package. The smaller size lets engineers put these sensors into ever-smaller spaces. In addition, modern versions of the radar sensors have brought about a whole new set of applications that involve controlling automotive functions with hand gestures.
IC radars are called radar sensors. They operate in the millimeter-wave (mmWave) bands like 76 to 81 GHz and 61 to 64 GHz. Most devices contain multiple transmitters and receivers that use frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) signals with a chirp format. The IC contains a full digital signal processor (DSP) to generate, receive, and process the return signals.