Author - Torsten Lehmann, Executive Vice President, NXP Semiconductors

Many thanks to Deutsche Bank and Ross Seymore for letting me present the latest on NXP’s market-leading radar solutions to the investor and analyst community late last month. Many exciting opportunities in this space to come over the next few years. Here’s an outline of the potential we see in Automotive Radar and why NXP is leading the way to bring safer driving to more people around the world.

If carmakers are going to put more safety radar systems into volume production vehicles to meet regulatory requirements and consumer expectations, those systems need cutting-edge technology in a scalable, full system solution across models as well as the ability to scale into the future as innovation continues to advance. Carmakers achieve this by working closely in a triangle with semiconductor companies and tier-1 suppliers. On the semiconductor side, NXP is leading the way forward on bringing these solutions to market and putting them to work saving lives.

The Opportunity

With the shift from 24 GHz to 77 GHz and the significantly larger bandwidth available, radar systems gain the ability to detect smaller objects. This performance boost provides applications such as blind spot detection (BSD) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) with the ability to be vastly improved.

Additionally, the emergence of the Automated Driving (AD) Level 2+, is energizing the demand for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that comprises of five or more radar nodes per vehicle. Those systems include advanced features such as highway pilot, which gives consumers the comfort of their car driving a large part of a journey automatically, but with the driver being ready to intervene at any point. In respects to ADAS Sensors and specifically Radar technology, Level 2+ and Level 3 “Conditional Automation,” there is very little difference. However, Level 2+ solves the challenge of liability as the vehicle’s ‘behavior’ clearly remains with the driver at all times.


It is with these opportunities in mind that NXP delivers three core attributes that can help carmakers bring the maximum benefits of radar to the greatest number of vehicles hitting the road next year and beyond:

Cutting-edge technology

NXP has several generations of processors and transceivers in place with millions of miles driven on our silicon. For transceivers, we have moved from Silicon Germanium to leadership in RFCMOS with its integration and power consumption benefits. Our cutting-edge radar processors have unique radar accelerators that are able to scale up to imaging radar performance with highest angular resolution. All this with NXPs focus on automotive quality, functional safety and security.

Full system solution

Our full solution offering, from transceiver, processor, and power management integrated circuits (PMIC) to the safe and secure networking on which it relies, means we can go beyond simply delivering components to supporting the full radar application.


NXPs scalable radar product family allows our customers to build their own platform spanning from corner radar systems with multiple small sensors around the vehicle, to long-range front or rear-radar sensors and up to the evolving high performance imaging radar which is able to draw a precise environmental map of the car’s surroundings and generating lidar-like images.


The implementation of the latest radar technology requires these three differentiating offerings from NXP: Cutting edge-technology, full system solution and scalability. To bring these to the end customer, it takes a triangle partnership between carmaker, semiconductor company and tier-1 supplier that is focused on meeting the needs of the marketplace today while anticipating those of the future. It is with that level of engagement that carmakers can hope to overcome the barriers to bringing the benefits of those technologies to the greatest number of consumers.

As I said, NXP is leading the way forward.

Find out more about NXP’s Automotive Radar Systems

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