Radar Chips in Cars Save Lives: Infineon Innovation Nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2015, the German President's Award for Innovation in Science and Technology
Radar systems in cars make a major contribution to improving road safety. They measure the distance to other vehicles and their speed in relation to each other in order to give drivers early warning and trigger braking in emergencies.
Munich, Germany – The high-frequency radar chip team at Infineon Technologies AG has been nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2015 (German Future Award), the German President's Award for Innovation in Science and Technology. Radar systems in cars make a major contribution to improving road safety. They measure the distance to other vehicles and their speed in relation to each other in order to give drivers early warning and trigger braking in emergencies.
“Radar is a very sophisticated technology. It helps to prevent road accidents and save lives, and also makes driving much more comfortable, for instance in lines of traffic. With innovative solutions, the Infineon team has managed to reduce the cost of radar systems considerably. Radar systems that have been confined to drivers of premium cars to date will become affordable for all drivers,” says Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG. “The nomination acknowledges our employees’ outstanding achievements. It is an incentive for further innovations that will not only bring about technical novelties but also prevail on the market and improve people’s lives.”
Radar technology operates on the basis of high-frequency electromagnetic oscillations sent out as millimeter waves. 77 gigahertz (GHz) is the standard frequency range for automotive radar applications such as adaptive cruise control and collision warning. These high frequencies of 77 billion oscillations per second are necessary to ensure the accuracy of measurements. The radar chips from Infineon send and receive these high-frequency signals and pass them on to the radar electronic control unit.
The jury has nominated Ralf Bornefeld, Dr. Walter Hartner and Dr. Rudolf Lachner for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2015 and, in doing so, has acknowledged two key innovations that have initiated the breakthrough of radar systems in the automotive market. Infineon is the very first company in the world to develop highly integrated circuits for the 77 GHz frequency range based on silicon (Si) and silicon germanium (SiGe) instead of gallium arsenide (GaAs), typically used before. Using Si and SiGe material leads to much lower product costs of radar systems. The second innovation is a new packaging technology, so-called eWLB (embedded Wafer-Level Ball Grid Array). The eWLB technology offers very good high-frequency characteristics and simplifies the further processing of radar chips at the automotive system provider. This means another substantial reduction in system costs of the radar system.
In July 2015, Infineon reported that the ten-millionth radar chip for cars had been shipped. And the next ten million are already due to be shipped within the next year. Today, Infineon produces its radar chips solely in Germany. All stages of the process – from chip manufacturing to processing in the package – are carried out at the company’s manufacturing plants in Regensburg and Dresden.
This is the fourth time Infineon has been nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis (in 1998 as Siemens Semiconductor group). The German President has conferred this award for innovation in science and technology since 1997 to reward outstanding achievements in technology, engineering and the natural sciences with great market potential for the German economy. Three teams have been nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2015 from a total of 24 proposed technology projects. A jury of independent experts from academia and business selects the nominees and the winner. Nomination in itself counts as a particular recognition – these teams belong to the best. German President Joachim Gauck will announce the winner and present the award on December 2, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. More information on the Deutscher Zukunftspreis is available at www.deutscher-zukunftspreis.de and www.infineon.com/deutscher-zukunftspreis
Infineon Technologies AG is a world leader in semiconductor solutions that make life easier, safer and greener. Microelectronics from Infineon is the key to a better future. In the 2014 fiscal year (ending September 30), the company reported sales of Euro 4.3 billion with about 29,800 employees worldwide. In January 2015, Infineon acquired US-based International Rectifier Corporation with revenues of USD 1.1 billion (fiscal year 2014 ending June 29) and approximately 4,200 employees.
Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX) and in the USA on the over-the-counter market OTCQX International Premier (ticker symbol: IFNNY).