9 January 2015

Back to the Future at Electronica!

electronica_200The Electronica Trade Fair, held every two years in Munich, Germany, is the biggest electronics event in Europe. This year, 72 000 visitors circulated among the 2600 booths.

If you are involved in the electronics sector in any way, this is a must-attend event, not only for the business opportunities – think of the upcoming free trade agreement with Europe! –, but also to stimulate your mind and discover all kinds of technologies and providers.

During the 2014 Electronica Trade Fair, I came across some technologies that really blew me away, such as Omniradar’s One-Chip-Radar.

Omniradar is a company from the Netherlands that manufactures incredibly versatile miniature radar microchips.


Here’s a chip sitting on a Euro!

It can be set to detect an object or a person, or used to measure how far away an object is or to calculate speed (Doppler). Below are some applications for which the One-Chip-Radar was designed:

  • robotics;
  • road safety (adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, park assist systems, etc.);
  • environmental monitoring (detecting people or motion in a specific area);
  • measuring heartbeat and breathing rate – no need for wires, stickers, or fittings anymore!

Through a discussion with the company, I found out that, depending on what it is used for, the circuit uses 100 mW on average. Therefore, portable or mobile applications are possible. Will this be part of the next generation of smart phones?

In the photo below, an Omniradar microchip has been integrated into an electronic system.


The price varies according to the size of the order, from 1 to 10 euros (CAD$1.50 to CAD$15). Does this give you ideas for projects?

The next Electronica Trade Fair will take place in November 2016. Come with us, you never know what we might discover!

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