Microwave Journal
www.microwavejournal.com/articles/37958-nxps-premium-radar-sdk-enhances-automotive-radar-sensor-capabilities
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NXP’s Premium Radar SDK Enhances Automotive Radar Sensor Capabilities

April 6, 2022

NXP® Semiconductors delivers a first release of powerful radar signal processing algorithms as part of the new Premium Radar software development kit (PRSDK). It enables developers to enhance radar system performance, leveraging tight coupling of NXP’s advanced software algorithms with its latest S32R4x radar processor family for improved safety and differentiation. The proprietary radar algorithm library allows quick integration of proven algorithms into radar sensor applications, helping to speed radar sensor development and reduce R&D investment. This initial release, expected to be available for evaluation during 2022, includes three algorithm packages with solutions for interference mitigation, MIMO waveform optimization and angular resolution enhancement. 

Radar use cases like automated emergency braking and adaptive cruise control are becoming increasingly standard in cars shipped today. Regional legislation and regulations continue to mandate more demanding features for blind-spot detection, turn assistant, front and rear cross-traffic and people detection, requiring more radar nodes per vehicle to provide a 360-degree safety cocoon. Furthermore, growing demand for a safer and more comfortable driving experience is accelerating the transition to L2+, offering comfort features close to L3 autonomous driving. This in turn requires higher performance radar sensors to extend the corner case coverage and provide precise environment mapping and localization.

“We expect the triple acceleration of automotive radar to continue over the next decade, with more cars equipped with radar sensors, an increasing number of sensor nodes per car and more performant sensors being deployed,” says Huanyu Gu, director, Product Marketing and Business Development ADAS, NXP. “This megatrend presents several challenges for vehicle OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. Specifically, it poses a need for interference mitigation, MIMO waveform optimization and augmented sensor resolution. NXP’s Premium Radar SDK’s advanced algorithms aim to address all these challenges, enabling customers to optimally leverage the S32R4x radar processor hardware.”

In about five years, cars will carry twice as many radar sensors as today, and over 90 percent of the radar sensors will be emitting in the same 77 to 79 GHz band. Concerns about radar interference are growing, and the need for mitigation measures has become imperative. At the same time, automakers are seeking efficient ways to improve sensor performance. Consequently, carefully optimized MIMO waveforms are essential, enabling radar sensors with higher resolution and longer reach. These special modulation schemes allow more transmitters to operate simultaneously, coding the individual transmit antenna signals to ensure they can be differentiated on the receiver side. Moreover, higher resolution sensors are desired for both corner and front radar applications to support more accurate object separation and classification for use cases such as vulnerable road user detection or park assist functions. 

The PRSDK is a new software product derived from NXP’s long history of radar innovation. It is planned to continue to evolve over time, expanding the list of algorithms through regular releases to accommodate emerging radar requirements and NXP’s future radar roadmap. The PRSDK implementation complies with International Automotive Quality Management standards IATF 16949:2016 & ASPICE Level 3 requirements. The deliverables allow user customization to meet the needs for individual adjustment and differentiation.

NXP offers OEM and Tier 1 suppliers two evaluation options under an evaluation license agreement. The MATLAB-based version delivers the algorithms as compiled code to allow developers to understand what the PRSDK does by feeding customer test vectors, computing and visualizing the output vectors. Providing bit accuracy, the MCU-based evaluation option includes the algorithm binary files to run on the NXP target radar processor evaluation board and demonstrates the real time performance of the PRSDK.