Intelligent autonomy at the edge with single-chip millimeter-wave sensors
What is mmWave?
mmWave is a sensing technology for detection of objects and providing the range, velocity and angle of these objects. It is a contactless-technology which operates in the spectrum between 30 GHz - 300 GHz. Due to the technology’s use of small wavelengths it can provide sub-mm range accuracy and is able to penetrate certain materials such as plastic, drywall, clothing, and is impervious to environmental conditions such as rain, fog, dust and snow.
mmWave sensors transmit signals with a wavelength which is in the millimeter (mm) range. This is considered a short wavelength in the electromagnetic spectrum and is one of the advantages of this technology. Indeed, the size of system components such as antenna required to process mmWave signals is small. Another advantage of short wavelengths is the high resolution. A mmWave system that resolves distances to wavelength has accuracy in the mm range at 60-64 GHz and 76-81 GHz.
Additionally, operating in this spectrum makes mmWave sensors interesting for the following reasons:
- Ability to penetrate materials: see through plastic, drywall and clothing.
- Highly directional: compact beam forming with 1° angular accuracy.
- Light-like: can be focused and steered using standard optical techniques.
- Large absolute bandwidths: distinguish two nearby objects.