Of course, MediaTek will still have a lot of catching up to do, especially in the face of incumbents like Infineon Technologies and NXP.
Infineon, for example, told us that it sold 10 million radar chips in 2016 alone. Meanwhile, Infineon's cumulative sales of radar chips in total over the years by the end of 2015 was 10 million units. The stark contrast shows how quickly radar has become a red hot segment of the automotive electronics market in just the last 12 months.
Infineon offers radar chips based on SiGe [and the CMOS version is currently in development]. In contrast, NXP just announced this week at the CES that the company is now adding to its automotive radar portfolio “the world's smallest single-chip 77GHz radar transceiver (7.5x7.5 mm) with very high resolution performance.”
Development board based on NXP's single-chip 77GHz radar transceiver placed between two antennas
Hella, a German tier one company with more than 15 years of experience in automotive radar technology, was present at NXP’s booth and told us that it plans to launch “CompactRadar” based on NXP’s RFCMOS in 2018, along with the company’s first customer.
Noting that the CompactRadar is designed for short and mid-range applications, Kristian Doescher, head of global marketing original equipment at Hella, said, “We have completed field trials, first results have proven very promising. RFCMOS is the enabling technology that allows us to deliver the required compact form factors.”
Hella's CompactRadar prototype
Vision SoC – HOG & CNN
In the world of Vision SoC, nobody disputes that EyeQ chips developed by Mobileye is the gold standard. The Israeli company today dominates the market for computer vision-based SoCs in cars.
Going up against Mobileye is no piece of cake.
Hsu, however, sees an opening for MediaTek. A growing number of car OEMs are now looking for a more flexible architecture for a vision SoC. “Some OEMs want much rawer information from image sensors so that they can add their own algorithms when they do sensor fusion.”
Next page: Android for in-vehicle infotainment