Microwave Journal
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Radar Technologies: Consumer, the Latest Field for Market Expansion

October 27, 2020

“Consumer is the newest market segment in the radar industry,” commented Cédric Malaquin, technology and market analyst, RF electronics at Yole Développement. “Market opportunities are huge. They will be driven by consumer adoption of in-air motion sensing devices. So far, a single end system player, Google, is pushing radar-based in-air motion sensing. Google is highly motivated to face competition from Apple and Amazon.” 

With this single player, Yole is expecting the market to grow to US$250 million by 2025, with +56 percent CAGR between 2019 and 2025. Yole’s analysts do not expect significant shipments for drones and few for presence detection. For the motion sensing case, however, they anticipate adoption through the home assistant market.

Therefore, in-air gesture sensing is a key technology for consumer devices, especially in the smart home era. However, fierce competition exists in this market, where we can see other sensing principles, mostly camera based, as well as other interaction methods, for instance voice recognition based, explained Cédric Malaquin from Yole.

Radar comes as an alternative technology, enabling privacy and with low power consumption. Google and other radar-based gesture sensing protagonists will push the privacy advantage to differentiate in this competitive market. Indeed, the radar processing is performed at the edge and not in the cloud. Consumer adoption will be the key point, with a choice between consumer privacy concerns and exposure to another radiating device, stated Yole.

Yole and its partner, System Plus Consulting, have been following the radar industry for a while and deliver an in-depth understanding of the market evolution and technical disruption through a wide collection of RF electronics reports. Regarding the consumer market segment, the adoption of radar technologies is one of the key elements that explains the status of the radar industry today and its future. System Plus Consulting supports Yole in these daily investigations and offers a comprehensive reverse engineering and costing analysis dedicated to the UWB 4D Imaging RF Radar SoC, VYYR2401, extracted from the Walabot Home system, a smart home solution based on radar technology. Walabot is the consumer brand from Vayyar that offers UWB 4D imaging systems. The company built all its systems based on the RF SoC manufactured by Vayyar. The first SoC developed by Vayyar was the VYYR2401, analyzed in System Plus Consulting’s report. This chip is used in a smartphone add-on device that detects pipes and cables behind walls as well as in a fall detection system, that has been torn down for the report. Without doubt, the added value of Vayyar’s approach is the simplicity of integration. The RF SoC features an on-chip DSP that processes the data from the transceiver.

Technology & Cost Analyst at System Plus Consulting, Stéphane Elisabeth, explained, “With an external MCU, it became understandable by any processor with machine learning features on the market, like a Snapdragon from Qualcomm, for example.”

Vayyar has indeed seen the potential of a new market in medical and consumer applications, currently with 0.13 percent share. The UWB radio frequency SoC from the company was introduced into the market in 2013. Having first developed radar technology in medical applications, such as breath-based cancer detection and fall detection, the company is now diversifying into in-cabin monitoring and ultra-short-range radar in automotive.