Infineon Technologies AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, BMW Forschung und Technik GmbH, Continental AG and Daimler AG have formed the Radar on Chip for Cars (RoCC) technology cooperation project. The companies are engaged in joint research with the aim to significantly increase driving safety by making highly reliable radar systems available in all vehicle classes.

The three-year RoCC project has a budget of more than €17 M. It is supported by a financial grant of €8.3 M from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), as part of the ITK2020 support programme focusing on ‘Innovation Alliance in Automotive Electronics’. The German government’s high-tech strategy promotes efforts made to reduce the overall number of traffic accidents, in this case by helping to introduce innovative safety solutions into the compact and small-vehicle classes as quickly as possible.

In the RoCC cooperative project, the five companies will work together to develop highly integrated, cost-optimized automotive radar sensor systems in the 76 to 81 GHz frequency range for both long-range systems (covering distances of up to 250 m) and short-range systems (covering distances between 5 cm and 20 m). Infineon Technologies is the project coordinator. Additional participants from academia include German universities in Bochum, Bremen, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Stuttgart and Ulm, the Technical University in Munich and the University of Applied Sciences in Ulm.

Short-range automotive radar sensors in use today use ultra-wideband technology at 24 GHz. This frequency, however, is licensed in Europe only up until 2013. The RoCC project aims to convert the system to the frequency range already released by the European Union of 79 GHz, and deliver systems that use these higher-frequency sensors at a cost that does not exceed today’s 24 GHz systems. This presents a significant challenge to semiconductor technology, sensor design technology and in-vehicle integration that can only be tackled by a joint research project involving some of the most important companies in the automotive industry and their suppliers.