“Millimeter wave technology is extremely hot, and millimeter waves have been adopted in many products. For millimeter waves, the editor has already done a lot of explanations. In this article, we will introduce millimeter wave sensors to form an integrated single chip.
Millimeter wave technology is extremely hot, and millimeter waves have been adopted in many products. For millimeter waves, the editor has already done a lot of explanations. In this article, we will introduce millimeter wave sensors to form an integrated single chip.
From positioning and proximity measurement to determining the position of the liquid level and light intensity, sensor solutions provide us with a way to sense, digitally express and process the world around us. Specific application problems have spawned a large number of different sensor technologies, enabling the system to sense the surrounding conditions with different levels of accuracy under a variety of conditions. With the recent construction of smart infrastructure, the rise of industry 4.0 (Industry 4.0), building automation products, and newer applications such as autonomous drones in factories, developers are expecting sensors to improve system performance and efficiency to a whole new level level.
The millimeter wave (mmWave) radar technology equipped on the device is specially used to realize the detection function in the range of short distance (5cm) to long distance (over 150m). This technology itself can detect the range of fast moving objects (speeds up to 300kph), Speed and movement angle, and its accuracy is not affected by the surrounding light, fog, rain and dust. Figure 1 is an example of visualization of range, velocity, and motion angle information.
Millimeter wave sensor technology has been very successful in the automotive field, but designers are currently solving the challenges faced by this technology when it expands to other markets, such as building and factory automation applications. The problem encountered is that the previous radar systems were all discrete designs, which led to complex hardware design and software development, and raised the barriers to entry.
Figure 1: Range, speed and angle information from millimeter wave sensors in a parking lot: The blue background graph is the range/rate heat map (in this picture, you can identify moving/stationary objects and their speed) ; The green background chart is a visualization of the range/angle; the colored boxes mark the moving and stationary vehicles and pedestrians in the scene and the chart
Figure 2 shows a discrete millimeter wave radar system. A radar signal processing chain requires multiple integrated circuit (IC) components, including a radio frequency (RF) front end and a digital processing back end. Designing a discrete radar system requires special attention, and several considerations should be considered to solve the problem of sending high-speed radar data on a printed circuit board (PCB), such as the central control of a microcontroller unit (MCU) The device must send control signals to these independent components in a certain route. These systems are very sensitive to external electromagnetic interference (EMI), which makes it difficult to design for specific “noisy” environments and more challenging outdoor environments.
Discrete radar systems also pose challenges for software designers. The configuration and control signals of the host MCU need to be sent to each RF and digital processing component to ensure that the system can optimally control each component in response to changing environmental conditions and application requirements, which requires a lot of software design and development strategies.
Figure 2: An example of a discrete millimeter-wave radar system. Each colored box represents an independent IC or a group of ICs in the RF front-end or digital processing back-end
As shown in Figure 3, TI’s single-chip IWR1x millimeter-wave sensor product portfolio integrates millimeter-wave radar radio frequency technology with powerful ARM® MCUs and TI digital signal processing (DSP) to achieve a simple single-chip solution that reduces The entry barrier for millimeter wave sensing is improved. With TI’s single-chip 10mmx10mm IWR1x sensor, you no longer have to deal with the complicated high-speed data and communication traces between discrete front ends, analog-to-digital converters and processing devices, and no need to deal with additional size, power, and related materials that support them. List cost. This level of integration also simplifies the software design process, which greatly simplifies device configuration, monitoring and calibration.
Figure 3: TI’s IWR1x millimeter wave sensor integrates all components necessary for single-chip millimeter wave sensing to simplify hardware and software design.
The impact of millimeter wave on applications
Level sensing is an important part of storing and measuring different chemicals in a factory. Because these chemicals are corrosive or toxic, the remaining liquid volume must be measured without direct contact. mmWave sensing provides high-precision measurement values and is robust and durable under environmental conditions such as dust, smoke, or extreme temperatures. The IWR1x RF front-end is highly linear, and its ultra-wide (continuous 4GHz, 5GHz splicing) bandwidth can achieve extremely accurate sub-millimeter measurements in liquid tanks with a depth of 1m to 80m. The power optimization design for the 77GHz-class transmitter reference design shows how to optimize the IWR1443 running in a 4-20mA power-constrained system.
The purpose of the traffic monitoring infrastructure is to respond to intersections in a timely manner by mastering specific information and remote sensing data related to vehicles and pedestrians, and to collect traffic statistics to improve transportation efficiency. The millimeter wave sensor can measure the position and speed of the vehicle, and can detect objects with a speed of up to 300kph and a distance of 150m and beyond.
Drones have been widely adopted, from enthusiasts’ flying competitions to commercial applications in a large number of industries, such as parcel delivery and forestry applications. In order to achieve safety and increase platform productivity, designers face many challenges, including enabling UAVs to detect obstacles and provide assistance to operators in the most dangerous flight situations. UAVs require high-speed object detection capabilities and can track objects that are several centimeters in size within a distance of 100m, such as when the UAV approaches the ground or moves around the object. Since drones are operated on battery power, in order to extend the flight time and increase the effective load, the solution should be small in size and light in weight.
The IWR1443BOOST and IWR1642BOOST evaluation modules currently available can easily evaluate millimeter wave radar technology and show how to use range, rate, and angle data in a variety of industrial sensing applications. By using the evaluation Module with the mmWave Software Development Kit (SDK) provided by TI, you can run a ready-to-use demo program, or customize sample code for your development within a few minutes. Also provided are sample source codes, showing more usage scenarios of TI’s high-precision millimeter wave sensing and processing, such as classification between water bodies and the ground, and non-contact measurement of heart rate and respiratory rate.
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