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RadioScape module targets DAB automotive market

Posted: 02 Aug 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:radioscape? dab digital radio? dab module? rs350a? tms320dre310?

RadioScape Ltd said that the next big area of explosive growth for DAB digital radio is undoubtedly in the automotive sector. "The car is a challenging environment both physically and electronically," said Marketing VP Nigel Oakley. "We have used our many man-years of experience with RF to design a module for automotive use that provides the optimum reception whilst rejecting electrical interference."

Specifically designed for the DAB automotive market, the RS350A module can process three DAB channels on a multiplex simultaneously to provide any combination of audio channels and data channels of news or travel information. Service Linking enables the radio to automatically move to associated stations when the first goes out of range using linking information provided by the broadcaster. This linking can be either from one local DAB station to another similar service or from one DAB station to the FM equivalent if the DAB coverage is no longer available.

"Our initial discussions with car radio manufacturers have enabled us to fine tune the RS350A to precisely meet their requirements for a DAB module that is tailored to meet the needs of automotive and can be quickly customized via software for their individual applications," Oakley added.

The device provides "phantom" power up the antenna cable to power an amplifier at the base of the antenna. According to RadioScape, this is the preferred design for many cars as it removes the necessity of having expensive coaxial cable to screen the signal cable, instead it boosts the signal from the antenna immediately for its journey to the receiver so that it stands out from any background interference.

As with the company's other module designs, the product is based on software running on a Texas Instruments DSP; in this case, the TMS320DRE310. This software-based solution enables RadioScape to customize solutions to suit each manufacturer's individual requirements, which cannot be done easily with hard-wired ASIC solutions.

The RS350A is powered from an externally regulated DC supply of 5V and 3.3V, and control is provided via a serial interface. It measures 62-by-37-by-10mm to allow vertical fitment in a standard automotive receiver DIN enclosure and is fully screened to meet all electromagnetic requirements for automotive type approval. The module can receive DAB Band III and L-band, enabling it to be used worldwide wherever there are Eureka 147 DAB transmissions.

Prices start from around $40 depending on the volume ordered and optional features included.

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