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Arbe Launches Automotive Grade Imaging Radar Processor Chip

Israeli startup Arbe, which has raised $55 million to date to develop a 4D imaging radar chipset, has today announced exclusively through EE Times that it has now launched its imaging radar processor chip as part of the chipset.

The company said this is the first automotive grade (AEC-Q100) dedicated imaging radar processing chip. The patented chip is capable of processing the raw data generated by 48 receiving channels and 48 transmitting channels, generating 30 frames per second, meeting automotive power constraints. This, it said, is higher than has ever been achieved on an automotive radar processing chip, while doing so in an “efficient and cost-effective manner”.

Additionally, the processor can scale from high resolution to ultra-high resolution and support over 100,000 detections per frame. According to Arbe, this ability to process such a high channel count provides unparalleled performance and safety to the automotive market. The radar processing chip enables the integration of smart detection algorithms, clustering, post processing and SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) into the chip. The processor is designed in accordance with the international standard for functional safety (ISO 26262), and the processor enables ASIL B (Automotive Safety Integrity Level) qualification for the radar chip.

Arbe’s chipset produces detailed 4D images, separates, identifies, and tracks objects in high resolution in both azimuth and elevation on top of range and Doppler resolutions, in a long range and a wide field of view, and complemented by AI-based post-processing and SLAM.  The company has also developed its own proprietary millimeter wave automotive grade radar RFIC chipset that includes a transmitter chip with 24 output channels and a receiver chip with 12 input channels. Using a 22FDX FDSOI CMOS process, Arbe’s RF chipset is designed to support TD-MIMO with strong performance characteristics for channel isolation, noise and transmit power.

The CEO of Arbe, Kobi Marenko, said, “The amount of processing capabilities that we incorporated on our radar chipset solution is one that has never been achieved before in automotive radar. Our technology will bring the safety of vehicles to a new level with low power and low cost. We are excited to ship the processer chip to Tier 1 customers as part of a chipset solution that supports their next gen radar system developments.”

The company said its processor provides more processing power, low latency, and low power while cutting the cost to implement a safe radar solution. We delved into these performance claims a little more to qualify them.

First, on processing power, Arbe said the processor is capable of processing 30 Gbps of data, representing a virtual array of over 2300 virtual channels. Today most radars are processing less than  10% of the bandwidth and usually up to 12 virtual channels. With regard to the latency claim, Arbe said 30 fps provides real-time frames every 33 ms, which enables a maximum latency from the end of a point cloud frame until it is received at the main ECU of 34ms.

What about power consumption? Arbe said the chip is built to provide typical power consumption of less than 4W. Since most of today’s radar power consumption is around 10W-20W, the company said it is obtaining two orders of magnitude performance at approximately the same power budget. On the cost claim, the company said, “We are at the lower price compared to the new radars of 12×16. We present an option of 10x performance for the same price as today’s long-range radars.”

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