Analog Devices Inc. (ADI), a leader in high-performance semiconductors for signal-processing applications and leading provider of RF integrated circuits (IC), announced the availability of its new ADF4158 PLL synthesizer, which enables flexible and cost-effective implementation of frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar systems. FMCW radar systems are used widely in automotive, aerospace, military, industrial and communications applications to remotely measure the relative distance and speed of external objects. FMCW radar systems can deliver detection and ranging at much lower power levels compared to traditional pulsed radar approaches thereby offering a significant cost advantage.

FMCW radar systems require very high radio performance and current approaches that rely on the linearity of the voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) pose a number of design challenges due to their complexity, inflexibility and high cost. The latest addition to ADI’s industry-leading family of PLL synthesizers, the ADF4158, is a 6.1 GHz feature-rich and programmable device that can easily be configured to suit individual FMCW radar system designers’ needs. Implementation of an FMCW radar system using the ADF4158 produces a highly linear ramp profile that is completely independent of VCO linearity, thereby improving radar resolution and reducing cost and complexity associated with system calibration. Furthermore, the ADF4158 is based on dependable BiCMOS process technology to enable affordable implementations at one-third the cost of competitive devices.