Proximity Product Description#

Key Spesifications#




On wall / In product

Detection capabilities

Person approaching. Arm or head moving

Typical range

0.5m - 1.5m (absolute range bounding)

Detection time

< 0.25s

Field of View

~180 degrees (horizontal and vertical)


Detection / No-detection signal

External host

No external signal processing required. Only need small MCU to boot and configure the proximity sensor over I2C (8 kB Flash / 1 kB RAM)

Sensor Operation Explained#

Algorithm Overview#

The Proximity sensor algorithm is designed specifically to detect humans in motion with the Novelda X4F103 radar. It can be grouped into three main parts: Signal conditioning, detector and application logic. The algorithm is configurable from the host device in two dimensions: Range and sensitivity. In addition to detection, it is possible to read distance information from the sensor.

Signal Conditioning#

Takes raw RF data from the radar as input. Does down-mixing, decimation, filtering and noise suppression. Outputs signal power as a 1D array, where the axis is range. Signal power is not available to the host device under normal operation.


Takes the 1D power array as input. Does thresholding of the signal power. Outputs hits, which indicates that the signal has exceeded threshold values. Hits are not available to the host device under normal operation.

Application logic#

Takes hits as input. Does light-weight logic on the hits to determine if the hits are occuring from a human/user or from something that should not trigger the device, like weather, moving objects, noise from other electronic devices, etc. The main parts of the logic checks that the hits are consistent over time using binary integration (aka. M-of-N logic) and that the target has approached the sensor. Outputs detections to the host device.

Range Configuration#

The device/user can limit the maximum detection range of the sensor, for the standard version within the range of 20 to 200 cm.

Sensitivity Configuration#

The device/user can adjust the sensitivity of the sensor, within a range of level 1 to level 5. This affects the threshold values in the detector, and enables adapting to different kinds of host devices and to different operation environments.


Within the selected detection range all movements will be detected.
Right outside the detection zone there is a transition area of approximately 20 cm. Within this area there is a decreasing probability of detection. This is due to the pulse width of the radar signal.
Outside this transition zone, there is an absolute rejection of any movements.
The transition zone is illustrated in the figure below.

Distance Information#

It is possible to read distance information from the sensor. The information consists of the distance to the first hit in mm, and a cluster/window of signal power values positioned around the first hit. The cluster/window makes it possible for host applications to add logic, interpolation, peak detection, etc. to implement more complicated ranging algorithms.

System Integration#

HW Overview#

The Proximity sensor HW is designed to be very easy to integrate into an end product. The sensor communicates with a host processor or MCU through either I2C or SPI serial interfaces Additionally two digital signals are required, sensor enable and sensor interrupt. The sensor can be powered with voltages from 1.8 V to 3.3 V. The sensor HW is SMD capable and provided in reels for simple and automated manufacturing. The sensor is generally robust against materials in front of and around it. For detailed integration guidelines refer to the X4F103 data sheet.


X4F103 Application Circuit with I2C connection#


X4F103 Application Circuit with SPI connection#

SW Overview#

Block diagram of what SW runs where. Explain interconnects and operation. Rerfer to X4 Sensor Lib UG for details.


Power Consumption#

The figure below shows the average power and current consumption for a single radar sweep.

Proximity_Indoor v.0.11, VDD = 1.8 V




1.5 mW / 0.80 mA

1.5 mW / 0.82 mA


1.5 mW / 0.79 mA

1.5 mW / 0.80 mA

The following figures and table shows how much time the radar is in the different modes during one full frame in normal and recording mode.


One frame, Normal mode, I2C (Proximity_Indoor)#


One frame, Recording mode, I2C (Proximity_Indoor)#

Occupancy v.0.8, VDD = 1.8 V



Normal mode

Recording mode

Normal mode

Recording mode

1 Frame

124.93 ms

124.92 ms

125.08 ms

124.92 ms

Active (XOSC)

0.37 ms

0.37 ms

0.37 ms

0.38 ms

Active, Radar Ready 1

0.15 ms

0.15 ms

0.15 ms

0.15 ms

Radar Acquisition

0.22 ms

0.22 ms

0.22 ms

0.22 ms

Active, Radar Ready 2

0.02 ms

0.02 ms

0.02 ms

0.02 ms

Active (LPOSC)

19.24 ms

24.52 ms

19.23 ms

20.01 ms


104.93 ms

99.63 ms

105.08 ms

104.13 ms

Boot-up time#

Proximity_Indoor v.0.11

FW Upload

1st Sweep


113.2 ms

117.1 ms


40.5 ms

42.8 ms

  • FW upload: Time at fw upload completion since enable goes high (the last interrupt low before 1st Sweep).

  • 1st Sweep: Time at stating sweep since enable goes high (the first radar sweep after starting normal mode).



Boot-up sequence for I2C (Proximity_Indoor)#



Boot-up sequence for SPI (Proximity_Indoor)#

Remember to explain:#

  • Power plot in HPDStudio, and how this is related to the states shown, and to “hits” vs. ”detections” as described in the “Sensor Operation Explained“ section in this document.

  • Differences between Proximity and Occupancy.

  • Differences between Proximity variants.