Socionext introduces 60GHz radio-frequency ranging sensors for automotive applications

This new series utilises the 60GHz frequency band and time-division multiplexing (TDM-MIMO) operation with multiple transmitting and receiving antennas that can detect the position and movement of passengers in a vehicle with maximum accuracy.

The SC1260 has an all-in-one configuration that incorporates antennas and radar signal operation circuits, to achieve enhanced detection accuracy in an ultra-low-power, ultra-compact package. The high-precision sensors use a wide band of 6.8GHz (57.1 to 63.9GHz) with an expanded number of receiving antennas by TDM-MIMO operation and built-in radar signal operation circuits for range-finding and angle calculation.

The devices enable easy acquisition of three-dimensional (3D) position information without requiring advanced expertise in high-frequency devices and signal operation. It combines antennas, RF circuits, AD converters, FIFO memory, SPI interface, and intelligent power control sequencers for flexible duty cycle control. Power required is only 0.72mW at 0.1% duty cycle operation.

According to Socionext, these capabilities make the series suitable for applications such as tracking the position and movements of passengers in a vehicle while suppressing the load on the vehicle battery when the engine is off.

The SC1260 Series complies with the global broadband 60GHz radio equipment standard

“By leveraging our extensive experience and knowledge accumulated through the development of millimetre-frequency wireless communication ICS and 24GHz radio-frequency ranging sensors, Socionext has become the first company worldwide to develop ultra-compact, ultra-low power 60GHz radio-frequency ranging sensors for automotive applications with built-in radar signal operation circuits for range-finding and angle calculations,” said (Teruaki Hasegawa, Head of Socionext’s IoT & Radar Sensing Business Unit.).

Moreover, TDM-MIMO operation enables high-precision sensing, such as the detection of passengers when three people are sitting in a row inside the vehicle.

Sample and evaluation kit shipments are scheduled for June, with production volumes to be available in Q1 2024.