Google and Infineon are combining on a chip technology project called Project Soli that could be used to bring radar like tools to the wearable and internet of things market, and items like smartwatches and the connected car.
Google used the I/O event, and its Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) to show off the technology.
"Project Soli is a miniature radar system in the form factor of a small piece of silicon. Soli decouples the display and input to investigate possibilities with touchless interaction with wearables that does not require users to hold, touch or manipulate any physical interface and where the human hand becomes the input device," it explains in official information.
"Project Soli demonstrates a new sensor concept that employs physical principles and manufacturing approaches that have never been used in designing interactive systems."
Infineon says that the coming together will yield ‘sensing solutions' with gesture recognition and other interactive capabilities.
Infineon is pleased with the association, explaining that Google is using a system based on its 60GHz transceiver technology. This, it says, is expanded on with a radio frequency transceiver, an antenna and the necessary electronics. It said that the system is flexible and can be used in both mobile and fixed devices. Google showed off its ‘presence detection' and ‘gesture recognition' at the I/O event.
"Infineon is a recognised leader in radar-based sensor ICs, providing component and system-level solutions for consumer, automotive safety, industrial and commercial sensing and machine vision applications - markets that are expected to grow significantly in the coming years," said Philipp Schierstaedt, VP and GM for business line RF & Sensors at Infineon.
The system is aimed at a range of connected devices, this include everything from cars to wrist watches, so size will be of a lot of importance. It is likely that this will be a small chip, delicate enough to find its way into even a connected wrist strap.
In larger installations, the connected car for example, it could use the radar element to spot and identify items ahead of the vehicle, such as pedestrians.
The last time we reported on Infineon it was in less glowing terms. In September 2014 the firm was one of a collection that was fined by the European Commission for operating a chip cartel.
The company, along with Samsung, Philips, and Renesas, was fined €138m for efforts at price collusion.
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