austriamicrosystems' ASIC for LIDAR Chosen by Continental

UNTERPREMSTAETTEN, Austria & LINDAU, Germany -- austriamicrosystems (SIX: AMS), a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance analog ICs, has announced that their ASIC chip set for automotive Laser-based obstacle recognition systems (LIDAR) has been selected by the international automotive supplier Continental and is now entering high volume production.

LIDAR systems employ an invisible laser in the rear view mirror illuminating an area of about 8 meters in front of the car. The reflected light from obstacles such as cars or pedestrians in close proximity is used to measure the distance. If the distance is too small, the system initiates automatic braking. The safety feature is branded by OEMs as "city-safety" or "active city stop". LIDAR systems are among the first active safety features coming into volume production.

Since light travels a distance of 30 cm in only one nanosecond, very high speed measurement technology is needed. austriamicrosystems' chip set comprises a 3-channel high-speed amplifier and a high-speed mixed-signal IC. The amplifier IC detects reflected light signals from a photodiode receiver array located in the rear view mirror. It is manufactured in austriamicrosystems' 0.35 µm Silicon-Germanium (SiGe) technology offering a transit frequency of up to 70 GHz. The mixed signal IC, fabricated in 0.35 µm CMOS incorporates a very high speed 3-channel flash ADC. A complex state machine controls the laser and carries out the time of flight measurement. The chip set communicates with the MCU of the control unit via a high speed SPI interface.

Thomas Mueller, product manager for automotive ASICs at austriamicrosystems, states: "austriamicrosystems' advanced technology platform ranging from SiGe to low-power and High-Voltage CMOS combined with our vast design expertise allows our customers to achieve demanding safety-critical applications like crash prevention systems."

Dr. Lutz Kühnke, Head of Sensor Front End Development at Continental, comments: "Together with our partner austriamicrosystems we offer a cost-effective solution for active safety reducing the number of accidents and saving lives."

About austriamicrosystems
austriamicrosystems is a leading designer and manufacturer of standard and customized high-performance analog ICs in the areas of power management, sensors & sensor interfaces and mobile infotainment. Complemented by its full service foundry services, the company focuses on the communications, industrial & medical and automotive markets. austriamicrosystems leverages almost 30 years of expertise in low power and high accuracy to provide industry-leading products, operating worldwide with more than 1,000 employees with its own state-of-the-art manufacturing and test facilities. austriamicrosystems is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange in Zurich (ticker symbol: AMS).

About Continental Automotive
The Automotive Group with its three divisions Chassis & Safety (sales of approximately €5.8 billion in 2010, 30,000 employees), Powertrain (sales of approximately €4.7 billion in 2010, 27,000 employees) and Interior (sales of approximately €5.5 billion in 2010, 30,000 employees) achieved sales of approximately €16 billion in 2010. The Automotive Group is present in more than 170 locations worldwide. As a partner of the automotive and commercial vehicle industry, it develops and produces innovative products and systems for a modern automotive future, in which cars provide individual mobility and driving pleasure consistent with driving safety, environmental responsibility and cost-efficiency.


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