Novelda announced the XeThru Developer Platform for sensing applications based on its second-generation X4 ultra-wideband (UWB) impulse radar system-on-chip (SoC). With this technology, OEMs and system developers can easily implement sophisticated sensors that can detect small movements, determine presence and room occupancy and monitor respiration and other human vital signs with accuracy and discrimination.
Supporting various host environments, such as MATLAB, Python, C++ and C, the XeThru platform provides everything developers need to rapidly start prototyping their radar application designs. The hardware bundles an X4 SoC with an MCU board and a PCB antenna, while communications software provides an API layer that enables access to the full functionality of the SoC, and open source reference code allows the use of digital signal processing libraries to extend system performance.
Integrated into a single chip, the X4 UWB impulse radar SoC combines a transmitter, which can operate at center frequencies of either 7.29 GHz or 8.748 GHz for unlicensed operation in worldwide markets, with a direct RF sampling receiver and a fully programmable system controller. The X4 SoC delivers some key performance improvements over the previous design: its frame size is now configurable for different applications and the range, for simultaneous observation, has been increased from 1 m to 10 m, making it 10x faster and much more suitable for presence detection; its on-chip advanced power management functions enable low-power duty cycle control and dramatically reducing power dissipation; and its higher level of integration reduces external component BOM costs by more than 50%.
“The real benefit of the XeThru X4 Platform is in kick-starting the development of more advanced radar sensing applications, allowing customers who aren’t radar experts to do more than simply build a system with off-the-shelf sensors,” said Cornelia Mender, CEO, adding, “That said, we will also be upgrading our own presence detection and respiration sensors to take advantage of the enhanced performance of the X4 chip. And for customers who start with our X4M03 hardware and want to go straight to production, we will be offering the X4M02 as a single-board module that is 100% code compatible but at a lower cost in higher volumes.”