From Inductors to Sensor Testing: 3 Companies Promote ADAS Safety
Safety is always a major concern for designers, especially in vehicles. Hoping to further ADAS safety, TDK, Maxim Integrated, and Rohde & Schwarz release new devices.
Automotive engineers are increasingly demanding solutions that put safety first in the development of autonomous driving systems. At the forefront of creating safer driving environments are advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) technologies.
A general overview of different technologies involved in a basic ADAS. Image used courtesy of Continental Engineering Services
From products to testing, this article will look at recent innovations by various companies progressing ADAS technology.
High-current, Low-inductance Power Inductors
Recently, TDK announced the release of its HPL505032F1 power inductors. These inductors were explicitly designed for level-5 ADAS camera applications, promising high-current and low-inductance for CPU and GPU-based automotive power circuits.
TDK’s HPL505032F1 power inductor. Image used courtesy of TDK
The inductor's designers adopted a low-resistance frame for its highly permeable and low-loss ferrite material to achieve high levels of power efficiency. Compared to its earlier version, the HPL505032F1 power inductors boast a 1.5 times higher current rating (40 A to 50 A). It also has an exclusive magnetic flux canceling structural design suitable for noise control and an internal and external electrode integrated frame that limits open and short-circuiting for high reliability.
TDK's ADAS product line's recent addition plans to meet ADAS's need for high-speed, large-capacity camera footage. It gives the extra assurance autonomous vehicles require a safer and more reliable automotive experience for drivers and other traffic participants.
Its features can be beneficial to ADAS in the following ways:
- Low-loss ferrite and low DC resistance adoption results in high power efficiency in ADAS application
- Being AEC-Q200 compliant, it meets industry standards for automotive electronics
- Its magnetic flux canceling structure fosters limited EMI
- A -55 °C and +155 °C operating temperature range
- Being joint-less, it offers higher reliability
- Open circuits and short circuits reducing internal and external electrodes integration
Electronics engineers, designers, and ultimately OEMs can leverage the features of HPL505032F1 power inductors to develop highly efficient ADAS that could expedite the widespread adoption of autonomous driving. Another ADAS-focused device comes from Maxim for voltage monitoring.
Maxim Delivers Automotive Voltage Monitoring
Safety monitoring can come in all shapes and sizes, but it doesn't make any device more or less critical. With a novel built-in self-test (BIST) system, Maxim Integrated's recently announced MAX16137 single-window voltage monitor promises an advanced level of diagnostic capability for ADAS.
The MAX16137 is a low voltage supervisory circuit capable of monitoring electronic systems' voltage supply. It can efficiently detect undervoltage (UV) and overvoltage (OV) levels in systems and reset them when the voltage drops or rises above and below the thresholds, respectively.
An application circuit for the MAX16137. Image used courtesy of Maxim Integrated
This monitor comes in a small size (2 mm x 2 mm TDFN package) and reduced design complexity. The BIST system integration helped simplify by featuring a "check the supervisor" functionality, removing the need for external circuitry. This system also enables developers and electrical engineers to meet system-level functional safety requirements within space-constrained designs.
Besides its BIST system, small size, and simple design, the MAX16137 features a high-precision window monitoring with ±1% accuracy.
The following are some additional key features and benefits:
- Compliance with AEC-Q100 and Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) compliance enabled at the system level
- An operating temperature range of -40°C to +125°C
- A fault response to 5 μs OV
- A 0.5 V to 5 V factory-set threshold with 20 mV increment
- An open-drain/push-pull reset output
- An input tolerance of ±4% to ±11% UV/OV threshold window
Despite the simplicity of this device, it plays an essential role in creating a safer automotive system. Another, possibly more crucial, component in autonomous driving is sensors; however, testing these sensors can be problematic. One company that is striving to ease this testing is Rohde & Schwarz.
An Innovative Radar Sensors Test System
Adding even further to recent ADAS advancements, Rohde & Schwarz also released its automotive radar test system (RTS) this year. Designed system to simulate many driving scenarios for testing radar-based ADAS and radar sensors used in autonomous vehicles; this system comprises the R&S AREG800A automotive radar echo generator and the R&S QAT100 antenna array. The former serves at the backend while the latter serves at the frontend.
Using the AREG800A in an ADAS example. Image used courtesy of Rohde & Schwarz
The mechanical movement of the antennas simulates laterally moving objects (objects moving from side to side). By electronically switching individual antennas off and on in the frontend, this RTS could replace mechanical movement.
It also efficiently simulates objects moving laterally to the vehicle, radial velocity (Doppler shift), and sizes (radar cross-section). It can move real-time road test results to the laboratory, resulting in record-time error detection and cost reduction.
Below, this article will cover the specifics of the radar echo generator.
Automotive Radar Echo Generator and Antenna Array
Now, looking at the R&S AREG800A solution, it claims it can generate a variety of artificial objects while considering factors like object size, individual distance, angular direction, and radial velocity.
This product attempts to ensure advanced tests in all automotive antenna bands by harmonizing with the R&S QAT100 antenna array and classical mmW frontend and future-proofing with an instantaneous bandwidth of up to 4 GHz. Furthermore, it is also short radar testing enabled, with a minimum distance down to 4 m; however, for generating large scenarios, the R&S AREG800A has the hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) processor and interface inbuilt for multiple R&S AREG800A synchronization.
The back of R&S AREG800A. Image used courtesy of Rohde & Schwarz
Finally, moving to more specifics on the antenna array. Serving as an alternative for standard RF frontend, engineers and developers can use the R&S QAT100 antenna array to generate horizontal and vertical moving targets with no physical movements. The many individually switchable transmission antennas can help ensure the high resolution, speed, and repeatability required for ADAS testing.
Back of the R&S QAT100. Image used courtesy of Rohde & Schwarz
Other key advantages it offers include:
- Reduced close-range reflections and multipath
- High radial resolution and radial resolution.
- Extreme flexibility and scalability
Rohde and Schwarz's RTS uses radio frequency (RF) wave technology to simulate objects moving laterally, horizontally, and vertically to the autonomous vehicle to test the efficiency of various radar sensors installed on the vehicle. This testing system can help spot errors in the ADAS and consequently save costs. Amongst other benefits, electrical engineers could use this system to develop ADAS radar sensors and a wide range of other automotive radar sensors that meet industry specifications.
Building Standard, Higher-performing ADAS
ADAS functionalities are essential to autonomous driving. Consequently, leading manufacturers including TDK, Maxim Integrated, and Rohde & Schwarz are developing new solutions to provide safer, more effective, and reliable ADAS.
While TDK's power inductors ensure high current and low inductance in level 5 ADAS cameras, Maxim Integrated's built-in self-test enabled voltage monitor prevents open and short circuits. Outside of hardware, the RTS from Rohde and Schwarz aims to ensure that ADAS radar sensors in autonomous vehicles are adequately tested before deployment into the market.
Though each of these solutions focuses on different aspects of ADAS, they all serve as a launchpad for the full adoption of autonomous driving.
Interested in other ADAS innovations? Find out more in the articles down below.