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Texas Instruments mmWave Sensors

Texas Instruments mmWave Sensors are the first single-chip, CMOS millimeter wave sensors available and prove 3 times the accuracy than alternatives while also shrinking the sensing footprint and power consumption.

The IWR1642 and AWR1642  mmWave sensors use frequency modulated continuous wave or FMCW. This varies the frequency of a continuous wave to produce an RF chirp. TI’s mmWave sensors operate on chirp frequencies from 76 GHz to 81 GHz, with 4 GHz of bandwidth. The chirp is generated by the IC and transmitted by the transmit antenna. It then reflects off an object, and that reflection is captured by the receive antenna, mixed down to an intermediate frequency by integrated mixers, and then processed. This produces high accuracy measurements of range, velocity, and angle of objects, can reliably sense through materials such as plastic, drywall, and clothing, and works in adverse conditions, such as rain, fog, dust, or lightning.

TI mmWave sensors make this process easy through a high level of integration. The ICs integrate a PLL, transmitters, receivers, baseband, and ADCs. There’s also 768 KB of radar memory and 1.5 MB of total on-chip memory. An Arm Cortex-R4F-Based Radio Control System is responsible for radio configuration, control, and calibration, and dynamic reconfiguration is possible to implement short, mid, and long range sensing. The mmWave sensors also integrate a TI C6740-series DSP to process the FMCW signal. Two transmit channels can be used for beamforming, and four parallel receive channels each have dual IF and ADC chains to provide complex I and Q outputs for each channel.

The IWR1642 and AWR1642 are available in a 161-ball Flip Chip BGA that measures 10.4 mm x 10.4 mm with a 0.65 mm pitch for easy and assembly and low-cost PCB design. The IWR1642 is designed for level sensing, traffic monitoring, factory automation safeguards, people counting, and other industrial applications. The AWR1642 adds CAN FD and AEC-Q100 qualification for use in automotive short range, multi-mode, and front long-range radars. Booster Packs are available for easy evaluation of the IWR and AWR1642 and other TI mmWave sensors. To learn more about the benefits of TI mmWave sensors for automotive and industrial applications, visit


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