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AM/FM radio receivers handle WB frequencies

Posted: 16 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:AM/FM radio receivers? weather band frequencies? navigation devices?

Silicon Laboratories Inc. has claimed the industry's first fully-integrated AM/FM radio receivers with weather band (WB) coverage. In addition to receiving AM/FM bands, the Si4736 family covers the frequencies between 162.4MHz and 162.55MHz that are used to broadcast 24hr weather warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information, as well as national security and public safety alerts throughout the United States and Canada.

The Si4736 receiver family, comprised of the Si4736/37/38/39 devices, reduces component count of existing solutions by more than 90 percent, providing the industry's smallest and first fully integrated AM/FM/WB radio in a tiny 3mm x 3mm package, according to Silicon Labs. The new solution is said to enable equipment makers to cost-effectively replace existing solutions as well as add WB functionality in a number of portable devices such as cellphones, navigation devices, and media and MP3 players for the first time.

The Si4736 family is the first to integrate AM/FM with weather band from antenna input to audio output into a single IC, including 1,050Hz alert tone detection, which enables the radio to automatically turn on the receiver to play incoming warning alerts. The new AM/FM/WB solution leverages the company's patented digital low-IF architecture, which enables the receiver to provide better audio in strong signal environments and excellent sensitivity in weak signal environments, along with higher integration.

The Si4737 and Si4739 devices also integrate FM RDS/RBDS decoding to provide station and song identification to listeners. The Si4736 family is footprint compatible to Silicon Labs' existing radio portfolio.

Devices supporting Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME), a standard that incorporates digital data into the weather broadcasts for localized hazard alerts, will be available later in the year.

Pricing starts at $3.06 in quantities of 10,000 for the Si4736/37/38/39 family. An evaluation board is available for $150.

Samples of the Si4736/37/38/39 are available now in a 3mm x 3mm, 20-pin QFN package. A full reference board with complete schematics, layout files and a software development environment is available.

- Gina Roos

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