Re-Thinking the mm-Wave MIMO Radar Architecture for Future Automotive Radars

The evolution of high performance mm-wave CMOS MIMO radar transceivers in the 76–81GHz band is enabling Level 2 and 3 autonomous driving vehicles. For higher levels of autonomy, future radars must be able to perform precise mapping of the environment, localization, and enhanced object classification. This requires sub-degree angular resolution for azimuth and elevation with wide fields of view, longer ranges and higher range resolution, smaller velocity ambiguities and robustness to interference. Radar housing and power dissipation limitations and the need for cost effectiveness make achieving such performance levels very challenging. This tutorial will cover waveform, antenna and circuit innovations that will allow for the ultimate large scale MIMO radar system to reach the desired performance in the 76–81GHz band. It will then describe the opportunities and challenges involved with a revolutionary step to a new band beyond 100GHz that offers more spectral resources, and will show why rethinking of the radar architecture, adoption of new technologies and emphasis on the importance of in-package integration of antennas and circuits, is required to unlock the potential of such a band.