Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. (VTT) is a visionary research, development and innovation partner that drives sustainable growth and tackles the biggest global challenges of our time, and turns them into growth opportunities. With more than 75 years of experience of top-level research and science based results, VTT goes beyond the obvious to help society and companies to grow through technological innovations.
Designers at VTT were tasked with developing a 60GHz frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW), frequency-division multiplexing (FDM), multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) radar system for short-range, high-resolution detection of nearby moving objects when the radar itself might be moving, in order to capture the flow of people, drones, and other autonomous systems. In addition, the system supports simultaneous localization and mapping, object detection, and remote multi-target vital sign measurements for medical applications. An FDM MIMO architecture was chosen to address the technical requirements for fast imaging and high resolution of multiple targets.
The key challenge for the design was system feasibility, which was studied using Cadence® AWR® Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) software. The actual chip design was made possible through simulation with AWR Microwave Office® software using SiGe PDKs from the IHP foundry and EM verification of the on-chip passive components.
VTT designers used AWR Design Environment software for this project. AWR VSS software was used to study the main aspects of the MIMO radar at the system level. The software provides a block-level representation of the signal sources, LNAs, mixers, PAs, frequency multipliers, antennas, and radar targets, enabling the designers to tune and optimize all the key parameters and incorporate real-world operation of the radar system as more circuit-level detail was added.
AWR Microwave Office software was used in combination with AWR AXIEM® EM analysis to design the TX and RX chips. The passive structures were electrically large (proportionate to the wavelength) and therefore required EM analysis and optimization using the AWR AXIEM analysis. The EM components were embedded as subcircuits in the schematic for co-simulation with AWR Microwave Office software. By including EM analysis of these structures in combination with the PDK models, the measured versus simulation results for the chip-level amplifier displayed excellent agreement.
Associated with this success story is a webinar that covers the above design. Register to view here.