While we did not visit CES in person, we closely monitored the news releases and companies exhibiting at the event. We had some pre-show briefings from key companies and watched all of the action on video produced from the event. Here are what some of the leading RF/microwave companies were featuring at the event including our special Frequency Matters episode covering these companies.
Rohde & Schwarz was demonstrating the latest test and measurement solutions for Automotive Radar, C-V2X and material testing. Here is a summary of their demos:
- Over-The-Air (OTA) validation and characterization of Uhnder’s brand new 4-D Radar Chip: With a fully shielded test chamber R&S®ATS1500C and the target generator R&S®AREG100A, Rohde & Schwarz enables complete validation and calibration of automotive radar modules. The CATR System has a remarkably compact size and still allows measurements in far-field conditions even for premium MIMO sensors. It is carefully designed to eliminate ghost targets within the chamber during target simulation tests and provides a highly accurate positioner for angular measurements. Uhnder is bringing to market an innovative radar-on-chip, with its 192 virtual channels and pioneering high contrast resolution (HCR), to redefine the key radar technology for safer driving and pave the way towards driverless cars of the future. Radar Test solutions for development and validation
- Radar Test Solution: Featuring a variety of Rohde & Schwarz instruments, including Spectrum Analyzer with a frequency range of up to 90 GHz, performance Signal Generator and performance Oscilloscopes we will demonstrate setups and measurements for all of your Radar development tasks including:
- Simulation of an ideal clock with the R&S®SMA100B
- Analysis of FMCW signals with the R&S®FSW
- Testing MIMO radar systems with the R&S®RTP
- Developing interference scenarios with the R&S®SMW and pulse sequencer option and more
- Automotive radars are usually mounted behind bumpers or radomes. When selecting the materials, care must be taken to ensure good signal penetrability in the desired frequency band. The use of lower quality radomes can impair signals to such an extent that angular errors, distortions and strong signal attenuation occur. They showcased the R&S®QAR that offers an ideal way to quickly and reliably filter out lower quality bumpers and radomes in production. It furthermore features the possibility of producing spatially resolved mmWave images of the reflectivity and transmittivity of the radome material to detect inhomogeneities within the material.
- Analyzing, simulating, and testing C-V2X communication applications: Rohde & Schwarz, together with our partner Vector demonstrated a complete C-V2X Application Layer Tester. The combined solution covers all layers. The 3GPP Radio Access Layers for C-V2X Mode 4, the region specific ITS protocol layers (EU ITS-G5, U.S. WAVE, Chinese-ITS) and the ITS application message sets.
Keysight concentrated on transportation innovations such as Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communications, Internet-of-Things (IoT) and 5G. Instead of showing products, Keysight showed how attendees could experience the following:
- Car Electronics Through Time: Attendees can travel through time to see the increase in vehicle electronics over just 10 years.
- Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X): Attendees can discover how many communications links a car needs to support and their many uses.
- Self-Driving Experience: Attendees can interact with a simulated self-driving vehicle to understand the big impact of small variations.
- IoT in a Car: Attendees can discover how the fusion of humans, IoT and cars enables personalized driving experiences
Qorvo was showcasing its advancements for IoT, Wi-Fi 6 and automotive this week at CES. Here is a summary of their releases:
- In partnership with Nordic Semiconductor, Qorvo expanded its IoT portfolio with two RF front-end modules that support the NB-IoT and LTE-M cellular standards. Featuring the industry's smallest integrated dual-band module, this expanded portfolio accelerates global connectivity by helping manufacturers add cellular IoT capability to a range of new devices.
- Qorvo launched the smallest, highest-performing Wi-Fi 6 solution with seamless IoT integration. The Qorvo QPK8642 kit provides leading Wi-Fi performance in capacity and coverage, along with Zigbee, Thread and Bluetooth® Low Energy connectivity, all while minimizing cross-radio interference in the connected home.
- Qorvo also introduced a full suite of products to enable a reliable vehicle-to-everything (V2X) link in the Telematics Control Unit (TCU) and antenna. The Qorvo V2X suite includes the first Band 47/Wi-Fi bulk acoustic wave (BAW) coexistence filter, which enables Wi-Fi coexistence with the V2X 5.9 GHz band. This capability is critical to establishing reliable links between vehicles and their surroundings. It also includes two integrated front-end modules (FEM) that support C-V2X and DSRC systems, a digital step attenuator, transmit/receive switch and low noise amplifier (LNA).
Skyworks announced that its proprietary solutions are powering essential connectivity in platforms across the growing smart home security segment. Leading brands including Amazon, Arlo, Google, Honeywell and Ring have adopted Skyworks’ highly integrated architectures in their newest surveillance systems and video doorbells. Skyworks also announced that its family of connectivity modules are powering the rapidly emerging 5G Massive Internet of Things (Massive IoT) market. Some products they recently introduced included:
- The SKY85746-11 is a highly integrated, 5 GHz front-end module (FEM) incorporating a 5 GHz single-pole, double-throw (SPDT) transmit/receive (T/R) switch, a 5 GHz low-noise amplifier (LNA) with bypass, and a 5 GHz power amplifier (PA) intended for mobile/portable 802.11ax 1024 QAM applications and systems. The LNA and PA disable functions ensure low leakage current in off mode. An integrated logarithmic power detector is included to provide closed-loop power control within the system. The device is provided in a compact, 16-pin 2.5 x 2.5 mm Quad Flat No-Lead (QFN) package.
- The SKY66318-11 is a high-efficiency power amplifier (PA), designed for the stringent requirements of enterprise small cell applications. The PA offers wide instantaneous bandwidth and is fully input / output matched with high gain and efficiency. Active biasing circuitry is also integrated to compensate for PA performance over temperature, voltage, and process variation. With a compact 5 x 5 mm package, the SKY66318-11 is ideal for 4G LTE and 5G NR systems operating from 3300 to 3600 MHz. The SKY66318-11 is available on major transceiver reference designs. The SKY66318-11 is part of a high-efficiency, pin-to-pin compatible PA family supporting major 3GPP bands.
- The SKY66405-11 is a high-performance, fully integrated RF front-end module (FEM) designed for Zigbee, Thread, and Bluetooth (including Low Energy) applications. The SKY66405-11 is designed for ease of use and maximum flexibility. The device provides a power amplifier, low-noise amplifier, low-loss bypass path, transmit/receive switches, and digital controls compatible with 1.6 V to 3.6 V CMOS levels. The RF blocks operate over a wide supply voltage range from 1.7 V to 3.6 V that allows the SKY66405-11 to be used in battery powered applications over a wide spectrum of the battery discharge curve. A functional block diagram is shown in Figure 1. The SKY66405-11 is provided in a small 1.9 mm x 1.9 mm x 0.56 mm Multi-Chip Module (MCM) package.
NXP had guided customer tours including the following:
Connectivity Tour: How has Ultra-Wideband evolved and where is it heading? What are the latest advancements in 5G, WiFi6, and NFC? NXP connectivity experts answered these questions and more during a journey into secure connectivity for a smarter world. Attendees experienced emerging connectivity uses for mobile, IoT and industrial applications – and learned how NXP seamlessly and securely is connecting cars to the outside world.
AI and Machine Learning Tour: Machine learning is a centerpiece of the digital transformation in our homes, workplaces and the vehicles that take us there. NXP experts gave an exploration into the latest advancements in voice, vision and anomaly detection backed by the EdgeVerse portfolio that includes hardware, development tools and a software development environment, which enables most NXP silicon to work across multiple inference engines, neural network compilers and optimized libraries.
Security Tour: Cybersecurity is at the core of devices that anticipate your needs, adapt to your environments and automate your life. Whether you’re designing a connected thermostat or a connected car, a secure-by-design approach is vital. NXP experts gave a guided tour of their EdgeVerse edge computing and EdgeLock security portfolios which demonstrated how NXP helps make deployment of security easier, scalable and upgradable.
NXP also announced secure edge processing and connectivity solutions products:
- NXP announced their new safe and secure S32G vehicle network processors that unlock the potential of vehicle data with service-oriented gateways that can transform the automotive industry with new business opportunities, enhanced safety and security, improved user experiences and upgradeable vehicles.
- The first in the series of their EdgeVerse portfolio with an integrated neural processing unit for machine learning, advanced vision and multimedia to bring your business vision to life, from reliable industrial IoT solutions to stunning cinematic audio experiences and more secure homes and cities. It provides multi-object surveillance, recognizes 40,000 English words voiced in different accents and can detect human emotions and moods.
Vayyar Imaging announced the first 60 GHz automotive-grade MIMO radar-on-chip. The 60 GHz solution offers the complete functionality of Vayyar’s leading 79 GHz reference-design, enabling the automotive industry to meet global EU NCAP and US Hot-Car needs. Vayyar’s solution displays the dimension, location, breathing pattern and movement of people, utilizing proprietary 4D point-cloud VOXEL imaging. This high-resolution, high-performance ROC enables complete classification of the car’s environment, regardless of line-of-sight, bad lighting or harsh weather conditions, offering unparalleled in-cabin safety.
Vayyar’s automotive-grade radar-on-a-chip has up to 48 transceivers and an internal DSP for real-time signal processing. It is a low-cost sensor that is easily integrated into the existing automotive framework, and due to its multi-functionality, reduces the number of sensors needed as well as the amount of wiring required, providing more value while reducing the overall vehicle cost. For deployed vehicles, more functions can be added over time, with simple OTA software upgrades.
By combining Edge AI software from Imagimob with the Pulsed Coherent Radar technology from Acconeer, the two companies have created an innovative platform for gesture control perfect for consumer electronics products similar to Google’s Project Soli. The A111 radar sensor is a low power, high precision, pulsed short-range radar sensor with a footprint of only 29 mm2. The small size and low power consumption make it ideal for integration into compact battery-driven devices. With the release of the new XM122 IoT module, using an Arm® Cortex®-M4 CPU, optimized for low power consumption and with wireless capabilities such as Bluetooth added, prototyping and integration in small devices with no room for a touch screen have been even further improved.
This first joint project Imagimob and Acconeer have been working on proves that the A111 sensor can be fitted into small wearable devices such headphones. The technology can be made to fit into all types of headphones including over-ear, on-ear and even in-ear headphones.