Earlier this month, Vayyar Imaging, a firm based in Yehud, Israel, announced the launch of its next generation CMOS System on a Chip (SOC), strengthening the company’s position as a global leader in 3D imaging technology. The new chip covers imaging and radar bands from 3 GHz to 81 GHz and, compared to many similar chips with three transmitters and three receivers, integrates more antennas than ever before with 72 transmitters and 72 receivers.
The upgrade allows for longer range and higher quality imaging in real-time without compromising size. Commenting on the announcement, Co-Founder and CEO Raviv Melamed explained that, “Radio wave imaging is a powerful technology, which was dormant for many decades. Vayyar’s new sensor is finally unleashing its potential.”
To learn more about Vayyar’s new chip technology and how the company’s technology has and will be used in healthcare-related applications, Medgadget posed some questions for Raviv Melamed.
Michael Batista, Medgadget: Vayyar’s new technology has really pushed the bounds of what can be built onto a single chip with 72 transmitters and 72 receivers, greatly exceeding the 3 transmitters and 3 receivers seen on other chips. What led to such a significant step forward with Vayyar’s latest RF sensors?
Raviv Melamed: An increased number of channels is instrumental in seeing finer details and in increasing the sensitivity of the system by collecting the received energy from a larger area.
In view of this benefit, Vayyar made a significant architectural rethinking of the design to shrink the electronics of each transmitter and receiver, and their interconnect routes, in order to accommodate 72 channels on a single chip.
Medgadget: What exactly do these new sensors “sense?” What technology allows them to do so?
Melamed: The new sensors are miniature “radars” – they illuminate the area with low-power radio waves and sense the waves reflected off of objects in the vicinity. By measuring the direction of the waves received and the distance to the objects by measuring the time it takes for the waves propagate to and from the object, a three-dimensional map of the environment is built. By measuring variations in signal, moving objects can be discriminated from the stationary background allowing for applications such as detecting an individual’s breathing, movement, and more.
Medgadget: Vayyar uses the term “Superman vision” when describing the sensor’s capabilities. Can you tell us more what that means and how this new generation of sensors achieves it?
Melamed: Radio frequencies can penetrate certain materials, effectively “seeing through walls”. This enables Vayyar’s sensors to be able to “see” in complete darkness and in any weather condition. The new generation of chips provides us with higher resolution so that we can create a more precise image. Previously, RF technology could identify that there was an object but we are now able to create a 3D image of that object.
Medgadget: What are some medical applications that Vayyar has previously had its sensors used in?
Melamed: Vayyar’s technology has been used in clinical trials for breast cancer screening. Vayyar is now working on remote monitoring of breathing and heartbeat and may explore additional health-related applications in the future.
Medgadget: Where do you see Vayyar’s technology roadmap taking the company over the next few years?
Melamed: Vayyar’s team is making great strides in RF imaging technology and we look forward to improving image resolution, object classification, and penetration for subsurface imaging. We envision the RF imaging technology to be adopted by additional markets and applications such as AR/VR, autonomous vehicles, smart retail, smart home and robotics.
Link: Vayyar Imaging