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Ultra-small, economical and cheap radar made possible thanks to chip technology

By building radars into a car or something else, you are able to detect whether there are objects or people in the surrounding area, as well as any movements they might make and the distance they are away from you. Researchers at imec have developed a fully integrated radar-on-chip based on 28nm CMOS chip technology. This radar is extremely compact (8mm²) and economical (just 1 watt) and it performs very well (10m range depth, 7.5cm range resolution and 5° angle accuracy). This latter feature is made possible by using phase modulation (instead of the much-used frequency modulation) and by incorporating MIMO antennas. Jan Craninckx, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at imec, explains what makes the chip so unique.