Metawave Corp. has announced delivery of the automotive industry’s first 76-81 GHz beamformer chip alpha samples and evaluation boards to MIRISE Technologies, the joint venture between DENSO and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC). MIRISE was launched last year to focus on next-generation in-vehicle semiconductors, and from its inception, has worked closely with the Metawave team to evaluate the beamformer chip and the beamsteering radar.

At the heart of SPEKTRA radar is Metawave’s MARCONI™ beamformer chip for multi-channel operation at 77 GHz, which, when used with Metawave’s proprietary calibration system, enables steering of transmit and receive beams in precise steps and over a targeted field-of-view range. The MARCONI antenna in package’s (AiP’s) ability to steer a focused, high-gain beam while running advanced Virtual MIMO Array algorithms gives SPEKTRA radar-based platforms an edge over conventional, purely digital radars. Also referred to as “radar on a chip,” conventional radars use wider, lower gain beams and fundamentally cannot achieve the same effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) and range performance as SPEKTRA. The AiP module follows a recent trend in commercial mmWave products, especially in the wireless cellular market, to assemble and package the Marconi chips with the AiP– therefore, creating a higher level of integration and increasing performance due to fully calibrated modular building blocks that can be configured with the antenna array(s) for driving virtual MIMO array algorithms. These building blocks can be used in various geometries and topologies to develop application-specific radar modules for multi-functional uses.

The high-performance radar front end that enables SPEKTRA radar is an innovation within the TI mmWave sensor portfolio.

In early 2021, Metawave also demonstrated its the proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) AWARE™ platform that enables SPEKTRA radars to perform real-time object classification and labeling for more efficient and faster Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) processing with over 94% labeling accuracy. Because of its machine-learning sensor fusion, the AWARE platform enables SPEKTRA radar to deliver accuracy in storms, darkness, and dense fog, even as vehicles travel at highway speeds. SPEKTRA radar’s ability to detect and classify objects beyond 300 meters is due to its unique ability to focus its beams along a specific field of view (FoV) direction to reach faster frame rates when combined with virtual MIMO array techniques in the back-end. Traditional radars use four or more transceiver chips for digital beamforming or they ‘flash’ a wide FoV, limiting range and preventing the radar’s ability to accurately distinguish between objects that are close in proximity. Metawave’s SPEKTRA radar and AWARE platform videos can be viewed on the company’s YouTube channel