Automotive

From ADAS to autonomous Systems

Semiconductors avoid accidents and allow robotic vehicles

Robotic vehicles coming in reach! The today’s semiconductor solutions enable the whole industry to go more and more into robotic or driverless system development. For sure, this will be a journey – the ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) will take over in the next steps tasks from the Driver. i.e. Emergency Braking – by the way only with the Emergency Braking Assistant it will be possible in future to achieve the maximum number stars within the framework of the Euro NCAP rating. Targeting 0 fatalities in the traffic, all automobile manufacturers are currently working on the integration of this safety-relevant system. The spectrum ranges thereby from purely camera-based systems, through lidar systems to radar systems; as well as the sensors for surrounding area detection, which require a very fast evaluation of data. In addition, appropriate actuators must be operated so that for instance the brakes are applied if a relevant event occurs (for example: a pedestrian walks in front of the vehicle), so that an accident is avoided or at least made less serious. The surround-view types of driver assistance systems represent a mix of safety and comfort functions, by which the images from usually four cameras are merged and optically corrected in such a way that a bird’s eye view of the vehicle is shown on the central display.
For robotic functions one trend is to bring all data from all sensors to a sensor fusion system. By having all environmental data available in real-time, this will allow get control of the vehicle very close to the ‘human brain’. Nowadays multi-core-systems and the FPGA technology are the enabler from the semiconductor side for the sensor fusion.

Restraint System

A new generation of seat belt pretensioners for more safety

The future lies in intelligent seat belt pretensioners, with which electric motors automatically eliminate the slack in the belt. Suitable electric motors with the appropriate activation are required for this. There are also other applications in the area of restraint systems, which actively support the infotainment system. A good example of this is microphones which are directly integrated in the seat belt. These microphones may operate without contacts or may be contact-based. 

Exterior LEDs

Driving at night like at daytime

The applications of LEDs in lamps on the outside of the vehicle are very wide-ranging and cover daytime running lamps, the headlamps and the parking lamps, turn indicators and brake lamps to the reversing lamps. All these LEDs must not only be controlled but must also be supplied with current via a suitable driver. The activation of bezels to control the range of the lighting in the scope of driver assistance systems also falls in this area.

Sensors

Sensors make driver assistance systems possible

Evaluation of sensor signals is necessary to actuate various safety-relevant functionalities. For instance, for ABS a rotational speed sensor is necessary for each individual wheel, while ESP/ESC requires a yaw-rate sensor as well. In a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), a pressure sensor can in turn offer valuable services. The ultrasonic nsors in the simple parking sedistance warning devices, the radar sensors and the front camera belong in this category. To put it briefly: a driver assistance system would not be possible without sensors.

Sound Generators

Reduce the sound inside a vehicle for more comfort

There are primarily two different technologies in the area of sound generators. Firstly there is the creation of sound, for example to allow a very quiet electric vehicle to also be heard by blind people. Thus there is the directive in Germany that electric vehicles must be clearly heard, with up to 60 dBa at speeds of up to 30 km/h. The second area of producing sounds is the generation of counter-sound, which is better known as noise-cancellation. The area of noise-cancellation blends seamlessly into the area of comfort, because quietness in the passenger compartment is of great value.