LG Innotek develops 'industry-first' 5G telecom module for autonomous driving with Qualcomm platform

By Lim Chang-won Posted : October 16, 2019, 10:26 Updated : October 16, 2019, 10:26

[Courtesy of LG Innotek]

SEOUL -- LG Innotek, the electric component unit of South Korea's LG Group, claimed to be "industry-first" in developing a 5G telecommunication module with Qualcomm chips that would be used as a key part for self-driving vehicles. The company said commercialization is possible in the second half of next year.

"LG Innotek is the first to develop a 5G telecommunication module with Qualcomm chips at a level applicable to an actual vehicle," the company said in a statement on Wednesday. It is based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 5G platform and key functions for fully autonomous driving are available.

"By developing 5G communication modules for vehicles, automotive manufacturers will be able to speed up the commercialization of fully self-driving cars and connected cars," an LG Innotek official was quoted as saying.

The module allows wireless network connection while sending and receiving data between vehicles and base stations with 5G mobile communication technology, LG Innotek said. It can be installed in communication devices inside or on the roof side of a vehicle.

The module allows real-time road information sharing, precision location measurement, vehicle-to-everything (V2X), and large data transmission, the company said. V2X passes information from a vehicle to any entity and incorporates other more specific types of communication to ensure road safety and traffic efficiency.

It has not been easy to apply 5G technology to communication modules of vehicles due to the large loss of signal compared to 4G and heat generation caused by the transmission of high-capacity data. LG Innotek used differentiated radio frequency circuit designs and ultra-precision and high-density modularization technology to produce the module with a response time of 0.001 seconds.

LG Innotek said it has strengthened the heat resistance of its product using new materials of plastic family, which are less sensitive to temperature changes. The 40mm(width)X50mm(length)X3.5mm(thickness) module is compatible with LTE modules.

A 5G mobile network commercialized by South Korea this year is the key factor of autonomous driving infrastructures as self-driving and connected cars need to constantly transmit large data. South Korea is building an infrastructure for connected car services such as ultra-low-latency communication. The global infotainment market is predicted to reach $33.8 billion by 2022, according to global market research firm Allied Markets Research.

LG group units have sought new future growth engines in the autonomous and next-generation infotainment market, starting with 4G-based V2X modules in 2017. At a shareholders meeting in March, LG Innotek executive director Kim Jeong-dae vowed to find new business opportunities through a paradigm shift caused by the establishment of 5G mobile networks.

The demand for multi-camera and 3D sensing modules would increase due to the commercialization of 5G networks and new smartphones, Kim said. To meet the global demand for special sensors for smartphones and smart devices, LG Innotek has produced 3D sensing modules that detect movement and measure distances.
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