Automotive Radar Design and Engineering Services

In a typical cooperation business model, smartmicro works with a 1st tier automotive supplier and designs and developes Radars according to end customer (car manufacturer) specifications. The sensors are then always built on the 1st tier's manufacturing line. Training is provided for field application and production engineers of the supplier, as well as through-life product support for the supplier.

smartmicro Design Know-How

When designing and developing for 1st tier automotive suppliers, Smartmicro is in most cases responsible for the A-, B- and in some cases even for C sample development and for mechanical- and production line design. In all cases Smartmicro does the overall system design, development and verification testing including:

  • Antenna system and RF hardware, 
  • Digital hardware, 
  • Signal processing software, 
  • Object tracking software and function algorithm (warning, distance control, ...) 
  • Vehicle data, other sensor data and Radar data fusion algorithms
  • ...and usually also the complete communication software, including vehicle communication. 
  • Transmit waveform, 

Cost optimization during design- and manufacturing phase is continuously addressed in close cooperation with the supplier. Smartmicro has been working with many automotive suppliers, some of them being among the top 10 worldwide, to support their development- and/or production programs.

smartmicro Track Record

Millions of automobiles worldwide carry Radar sensors designed by smartmicro. smartmicro has invented the Lane Change Assist (LCA) Radar, in partnership with Audi and started production in 2006 with a 1st tier production partner. The patented technology was later enhanced by introducing additional functions like Blind Spot Detection (BSD) (2nd generation in 2012), Rear Cross Traffic Assist (RCTA) and Rear Collision Warning (RCW).

Longer range Forward Collision Warning (FCW) sensors went in production in 2008. Today 24GHz and 76-77GHz sensors are manufactured for Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and other functions in the 3rd and 4th generation. Development for 77-81GHz high bandwidth sensors is ongoing.

Because of the attractive cost/performance ratio of smartmicro Radar designs, customers like Audi, Volkswagen, BMW, Mazda, Porsche, PSA and Hyundai already use smartmicro technology.

smartmicro Background

Prof. Dr. Hermann Rohling and Dr. Ralph Mende worked at the Technical University of Braunschweig on automotive Radar since 1993, and founded smartmicro in 1997. With over 20 years of experience in the design and development of automotive driver assistance systems (ADAS), and with 100 employees today, mostly highly specialized engineers, many of them with 10year+ experience, smartmicro has a long and successful track record and is proud to offer state-of-the-art 3rd and 4th generation automotive Radar technology today.

Smartmicro Design-, Development and Test Facilities

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In the new smartmicro company building all required test and development facilities are available for the two automotive frequency ranges 24GHz and 76-77GHz plus 77-81GHz, among those are: 

  • Design tools: for antennas, RF design, digital design, mechanical CAD
  • Prototype manufacturing: high precision automated prototype dispense & SMT, mechanical prototyping equipment
  • Lab test equipment: antenna test, RF test, digital test, target simulators 
  • Anechoic chambers: 3 for development, 2 for production
  • Environmental test equipment: thermo/hydro test chambers
  • Vehicle test equipment: special on-vehicle Radar test stands, Radar test car fleet
  • Development and test tools: CAN/Ethernet/FlexRay data logger 


smartmicro Automotive Development Process and Quality Control

smartmicro has been establishing a quality control system compliant to ISO 9001 and is offering ISO26262 (ASIL - functional safety) compliant development processes and products. The smartmicro QA team has developed its own, proprietary software design process / software design rule set considering automotive SPICE process definitions. smartmicro holds all software under strict version control and operates an issue tracking tool. smartmicro is also running an FTP server for customers, to drop and share test data for analysis by smartmicro.

smartmicro Production and End-of-Line Test Solutions

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smartmicro runs an in-house production line comprising SMT, sensor assembly and automated end-of-line test equipment. Target simulators (24GHz and 76-77GHz plus 77-81GHz), which are required for lean, efficient testing of automotive products during manufacturing, have been developed in house and are available for Smartmicro customers to be installed at their production lines.


Key features.

  • Measures positions and speed vectors of multiple reflectors simultaneously, with high accuracy, within short measurement time.
  • Up to 500m range, up to 100 degree field of view.
  • 24GHz, 76-77GHz and 77-81GHz high bandwidth models.
  • Features true 3DHD object separation in range and speed and azimuth angle.
  • Detects, tracks and classifies all traffic (multi-lane). Tracks up to 256 objects (vehicles) simultaneously.
  • One box design.
  • Single board or dual board designs.
  • Self calibration and diagnostics on board (sensor blind detection, self-alignment etc., system self test and error management).
  • Communicates with vehicle via single or dual CAN bus, Ethernet or RS485 interface. 
  • Small, light weight, low power consumption.
  • Vehicle/customer/application specific code can be integrated in Radar system.
  • Ready for plug-and-play multi sensor data fusion. 

Advantages of this Radar Technology.

  • High performance third and forth generation 24GHz and 76-77GHz technology.
  • High bandwidth sensor designs in 77-81GHz band.
  • Highest-in-class integration levels for RF (system-on-chip) subsystem and digital signal processing modules. 
  • Excellent antenna performance.
  • Dual board or single board solutions available.
  • Low unit cost.
  • Low vehicle model adaptation effort, flexible installation and configuration options.
  • Maintenance free.
  • Long lifetime.
  • All weather operation, high availability.
  • Wide temperature interval: typ. -40 to +95 degree Celsius.
  • Extremely robust - withstands highest shock and vibration levels.
  • Excellent unit-to-unit reproducibility.
  • Can be mounted invisibly behind plastic fascia.
  • Nearly world wide frequency approval. 

Typical Applications: State-of-the-art Driver Assistance Systems.

Side/Rear Systems

  • Lane Change Assist (LCA).
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD).
  • Rear Cross Traffic Detection (RCTA).
  • Rear Collision Warning (RCW) and Side Collision Warning.
  • Door Open Warning (Exit Assistant).
  • Back Up Warning.
  • Typically in 24GHz band.


Front Systems

  • Forward Collision warning (FCW).
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).
  • Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB).
  • Typically in 76-77GHz band.


360 Degree Systems

  • Parking Aid.
  • Autonomous Driving.
  • Uses Multi-Sensor Fusion and is typically combined with other front or side/rear applications.
  • Typically in 77-81GHz band.