On April 12, Chinese millimeter-wave radar startup Sinpro announced that it has completed an A round of financing worth hundreds of millions of yuan. It will continue to increase the scale production of 4D imaging radars. This round of financing was led by NIO Capital and Xiaomi‘s industrial investment affiliate, with participation from Harvest Capital. The funds will mainly be used for R&D and mass-produced 4D imaging radars.
The company was founded in November 2021 and focuses on the field of intelligent internet-connected vehicles such as intelligent driving, unmanned driving, and smart transportation. It develops high-performance auto-grade environmental perception solutions suitable for L3+ or higher levels, including intelligent hardware for 4D imaging radars, sensor algorithms, software, and perception products based on artificial intelligence.
Intelligent driving has developed into a perception fusion technology route dominated by vision with support from millimeter-wave radars and lidars. During the R&D process, vehicle makers have also put forward requirements to solve key scenarios in next-generation intelligent driving systems while reducing costs.
As an extension of millimeter-wave technology, 4D imaging radar provides accurate height measurement capabilities and extremely high angular resolution. It can effectively complement visual sensors to improve recognition capabilities for stationary targets or hidden targets in critical scenarios. In terms of cost-effectiveness, mature automotive electronics industry chains and manufacturing processes provide broad space for improvement after scaling up production.
In January this year, Sinpro released its first self-developed auto-grade high-performance imaging radar product, the S series “SIR-4K.” The product can detect up to a distance of 400 meters with 192 virtual channels outputting up to 4096 point clouds. It is expected to achieve mass production by 2024.
In March this year, the firm announced that it had won a Chinese leading new energy vehicle enterprise’s full-platform mass production order. The 4D imaging radar will be standard equipment for multiple models, and the cumulative shipment volume is expected to reach millions of units.
Chinese automotive research institute GGII predicts that 4D imaging radars will begin small-scale factory installments in early 2023, with the number of installations expected to exceed one million by 2024. By 2025, it is estimated that they will account for more than 40% of all forward-positioned millimeter-wave radars.