NXP ultra-wideband chip turns phones into car keys

  • December 5, 2019
  • imc

Automotive semiconductor specialist NXP has released a new ultra-wideband chip that is designed to provide improved spatial awareness for cars and smart devices through new localisation capabilities. The chip will allow cars to know exactly where users are. One application will allow users to unlock and start their cars, while leaving phones in their pockets or bags. The new chip has high levels of security built-in, and protects cars from theft through relay attacks.

In addition to smart access and remote parking, NXP says that its new IC will target other use cases such as: short range radar – for life sign detection and easy trunk access; smartphone valet parking, allowing cars to be “sent” to park autonomously via a smartphone application; and electric vehicle charging, with autonomous positioning on vehicle charger. NXP says that the new chip will enable drive through payment, providing localisation for secure on the go payment; as well as car as a key, with a car enabled enabled to seamlessly access garage door/parking.

In conjunction with the launch of the IC, NXP, BMW Group, Continental and others are jointly working on UWB implementations through the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) and IEEE to improve customer experiences at the intersection of the vehicle, mobile, and consumer devices. These standardisation efforts aim to enable a global standard for hands-free smart access and other automotive localisation use cases based on UWB.

“Today, the smartphone plays a central role in the digital lifestyle. We are convinced that the smartphone-based comfort access is just the beginning of a series of innovative vehicle-related UWB use cases,” says Dr. Olaf Müller, Head of Development Digital Access Functions, BMW Group.

“Continental is at the forefront in delivering secure localisation platforms that will create leading applications that catch the imagination of the power user generation,” said Philippe Fournet-Fayat, Director at Continental AG for Car Access Systems. “To deliver new use cases, such as smartphone access and remote parking requires the ultra-precise real-time localisation capabilities of UWB.”

“The opportunities that exist in the web of mobility and automotive are vast. As a leading semiconductor manufacturer in these segments, we have the ambition to tap these and bring more seamless and secure mobility experiences to users,” said Markus Staeblein, vice president and general manager of Secure Car Access at NXP. “We are pleased to jointly work on the required inter-operability and standardisation for UWB with BMW Group, Continental and other CCC members.”

The NXP NCJ29D5 is designed to be the first of a new generation of UWB ICs aimed specifically at the demands of the global automotive industry.