The family of products, catering to a range of applications such as secure vehicle access, detecting the presence of children, intrusion alerts, and gesture recognition, is anticipated to be included in vehicles of the 2025 model year, with integration by leading automotive manufacturers.
NXP Semiconductors has unveiled the Trimension NCJ29D6, an all-in-one Ultra-Wideband (UWB) chip family, tailored to provide secure, precise real-time positioning combined with short-range radar capabilities for automotive uses. This new product range addresses needs such as secure vehicle access, detecting children’s presence, intrusion warnings, and gesture recognition. These chips are expected to be incorporated into 2025 model-year vehicles by major car manufacturers.
The NCJ29D6 family includes the fully integrated NCJ29D6B and the NCJ29D6A, which is pin-to-pin compatible with the former. The NCJ29D6B is primarily aimed at enhancing secure vehicle access, offering better-ranging capabilities, lower system costs, improved security, and comprehensive software. On the other hand, the NCJ29D6A merges ranging and short-range UWB radar into one chip with an embedded MCU, offering a versatile platform for automotive manufacturers.
This design allows manufacturers to streamline UWB-based vehicle access systems into a unified platform, reducing redundancy and costs. It also aligns with safety regulations like the U.S. Hot Cars Act and the European NCAP roadmap by enabling features such as child presence detection.
These innovations simplify development, offering the potential for future feature enhancements via software updates, thus lowering ownership costs and speeding up the introduction of new functions. The NCJ29D6B, optimized for secure vehicle access, improves performance, enabling hands-free entry via a digital key on a UWB-enabled smartphone. It boasts greater RF sensitivity, dual operating receiver chains, and enhanced CPU performance, reducing the component count per anchor to a single chip. This device surpasses ISO21434 Cyber Security Requirements, preparing for future cyber threats.
Markus Staeblein, NXP Semiconductors’ Senior Vice President and General Manager of Secure Car Access, highlights the company’s role in standardization bodies like the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) and the FiRa Consortium, contributing to UWB’s integration into the automotive sector. The NCJ29D6A further broadens its functionality with short-range UWB radar, enabling environmental sensing. This facilitates the creation of a multi-purpose platform by OEMs for applications such as in-cabin child detection, seat belt reminders, kick sensors for automatic trunk opening, and various smart gesture controls.
Both chips in the Trimension family feature integrated security to address rising concerns over physical and cyber vehicle attacks. They exceed ISO21434 Cyber Security standards, and with CCC MAC and FiRa MAC, they offer standard-compliant UWB ranging protocols, simplifying AUTOSAR architectures. The Trimension IC family extends NXP’s range of smart access solutions, which are compatible with Connected Car Consortium-based technologies for a wide range of automotive applications.