Demand for radar systems boosts Infineon’s chip production

July 28, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Radar systems are experience rapidly growing acceptance among car buyers. While passenger cars with a radar sensor can be bought since the nineties, production figures as well as take rates reached significant numbers only by 2013. But since radar-based driver assistance systems are available at affordable prices, the numbers are skyrocketing. Infineon now has produced the ten millionth radar chip.

Operating at frequencies up to 77 GHz, radar chips identify objects at distances of up to 250 metres. For the radar semiconductors in 77 GHz radar systems, the Munich-based chipmaker claims a market share of almost 50%; the most important competitors are Freescale and NXP.

The first ten million of these radar chips from Infineon were primarily built into premium and luxury vehicles over the past six years. The semiconductor company anticipates increasing demand and expects that, within the next year, up to ten million radar chips will also be used in mid-sized and compact cars. This means that statistically one out of every twenty cars will be using a driver assistance system with a 77-GHz radar chip from Infineon.

Market research firm Strategy Analytics confirmed this trend towards safety systems in cars. They expect that in the next five years applications such as distance warning systems and automatic emergency braking will grow by more than 25 percent annually. This growth is in part attributable to the rating scheme from the independent organization Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme), that reviews the safety of new vehicles sold in Europe. To achieve the highest rating of five stars, a new car must have a radar-based driver assistance system. Strategy Analytics forecasts that of the 105 million new vehicles expected to be built in 2020 more than 20 million will use a radar-based distance warning system. This would mean that about 20 percent of all new vehicles worldwide would be equipped with such a system.

”Our chips make driver assistance systems increasingly accurate and more cost-effective,”. ”Radar-based driver assistance systems using Infineon chips now are becoming the standard in mid-range and compact cars”, said Jochen Hanebeck, President of the Infineon’s automotive division. “They are an important growth market for Infineon. Our high system knowledge and close cooperation with leading system suppliers and car manufacturers around the world are key elements to