This week we review the AWR1642BOOST mmWave Radar Sensor Evaluation Module from Texas Instruments. As you might expect, the kit is centered around a radar sensor of the same name, but that's probably about all that you'd expect from this advanced automotive radar prototyping kit.
The radar sensor itself is capable of scanning 4 GHz simultaneously in the 76 to 81 GHz spectrum bands, which equals twice the bandwidth of sensors on the market today. But the sensor goes above and beyond that to integrate an Arm Cortex-R4F and TI C674X DSP, which means all of the baseband and FMCW algorithm processing can be performed right on the CMOS sensor itself.
That's a first of its kind in the auto industry, packing all of the analog, digital, RF, and processing components you need on a single device. That means less space, less power, and of course, less cost.
The AWR1642BOOST is also extremely accurate thanks to integrated fractional phased locked loops (PLLs), which help it achieve very low error rates and high-resolution accuracy down to 4 cm. This makes the system great for prototyping external automotive radar applications with a range of up to 200 m, or in-cabin use cases like driver monitoring.
The best part is, with integrated antennas; CAN and CAN-FD interfaces; a UART-to-USB port; and support for the mmWave SDK replete with analog front-end (AFE) development tools, point cloud examples, and optimized algorithms, you can start detecting objects via radar almost immediately out of the box.
See you next week...