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Infineon Car Radar Team Up For Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2015

77GHz SiGe radar designers nominated for German President's award for innovation

The high-frequency radar chip team at Infineon Technologies AG has been nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2015 (German Future Award), the German President's Award for Innovation in Science and Technology.

"Radar is a very sophisticated technology. It helps to prevent road accidents and save lives, and also makes driving much more comfortable, for instance in lines of traffic. With innovative solutions, the Infineon team has managed to reduce the cost of radar systems considerably. Radar systems that have been confined to drivers of premium cars to date will become affordable for all drivers," says Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG.

"The nomination acknowledges our employees' outstanding achievements. It is an incentive for further innovations that will not only bring about technical novelties but also prevail on the market and improve people's lives."

The jury has nominated Rudolf Lachner, Ralf Bornefeld, and Walter Hartner (pictured above from L to R) for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2015 and, in doing so, has acknowledged two key innovations that have initiated the breakthrough of radar systems in the automotive market.

Infineon is the very first company in the world to develop highly integrated circuits for the 77GHz frequency range based on silicon and SiGe instead of GaAs, typically used before. Using Si and SiGe material leads to much lower product costs of radar systems. The second innovation is a new packaging technology, so-called eWLB (embedded Wafer-Level Ball Grid Array).

The eWLB technology offers very good high-frequency characteristics and simplifies the further processing of radar chips at the automotive system provider. This means another substantial reduction in system costs of the radar system.

In July 2015, Infineon reported that the ten-millionth radar chip for cars had been shipped. And the next ten million are already due to be shipped within the next year. Today, Infineon produces its radar chips solely in Germany. All stages of the process - from chip manufacturing to processing in the package - are carried out at the company's manufacturing plants in Regensburg and Dresden.

This is the fourth time Infineon has been nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis (in 1998 as Siemens Semiconductor group). The German President has conferred this award for innovation in science and technology since 1997 to reward outstanding achievements in technology, engineering and the natural sciences with great market potential for the German economy. 

Three teams have been nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2015 from a total of 24 proposed technology projects. A jury of independent experts from academia and business selects the nominees and the winner. Nomination in itself counts as a particular recognition. 

German President Joachim Gauck will announce the winner and present the award on December 2, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. 



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