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Silicon Labs rolls out digital radio receivers for CEs

Posted: 24 Apr 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:digital radio receiver? FM? HD radio? DAB/DAB+? consumer electronics?

Silicon Labs has announced what it says is the industry's first single-die antenna-input-to-audio-output digital radio receiver solution for portable and consumer electronics markets. Featuring software-defined radio technology, the monolithic Si468x receiver ICs bring FM, HD radio and DAB/DAB+ broadcast capabilities to various audio applications, from price-sensitive clock and tabletop radios to mainstream mini/micro audio systems and CD boomboxes to high-end multimedia devices with displays such as mobile phones, tablets and personal navigation devices, said the firm.

Digital radio technology is the next generation of radio broadcasting. In addition to providing better audio quality than traditional AM/FM radio, digital radio can transmit program information, weather forecasts, news headlines, music artist and track names, traffic information and other data. Digital radio adoption has been slow due in part to the high cost of delivering a high-performance yet power-efficient RF solution for the consumer electronics market. Silicon Labs' Si468x family directly addresses the consumer digital radio market by providing an advanced, single-die solution that reduces system complexity, BOM count and power consumption without compromising RF performance.

Leveraging Silicon Labs' proven low-IF digital receiver architecture, the Si468x family delivers superior RF performance compared to existing consumer-grade digital radio solutions, boasted the company. The receivers support auto-calibrated digital tuning and FM seek functionality based on multiple signal quality and band parameters and provide flexible audio processing features including noise blanking, configurable FM soft mute, FM de-emphasis and FM hi-cut filtering.

The Si468x family enables developers to reduce system cost, size and complexity by integrating most of the external components needed to build a digital radio receiver system including the RF tuner, baseband and stereo audio DACs. The family's wafer-level chip-scale package (WLCSP) option supports very compact designs, enabling a complete digital radio receiver system with only 12 external components to be implemented in less than 100 square millimeters.

The Si468x receivers are engineered with small form factor designs in mind. By integrating the RF tuner and baseband functions on a single die, the Si468x family avoids radio self-interference and streamlines system design, validation and testing. High integration simplifies board layout, reduces board space requirements and enhances system stability, making the receivers a good fit for on-board and small form factor designs where performance, size and reliability are critical considerations. Offering the smallest footprint and lowest power consumption of any digital radio solution on the market (less than 60mW in analogue FM mode and less than 95mW in HD radio and DAB/DAB+ modes), the Si468x receivers are also an ideal choice for power- and space-sensitive portable applications, Silicon Labs indicated.

The Si468x receivers support worldwide analogue FM radio reception and incorporate an integrated decoder for the European Radio Data System (RDS) and North American Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) standards including required symbol decoding, block synchronisation, error detection and error correction functions. The Si468x family includes the first truly monolithic digital radio receiver ICs certified by iBiquity to support the HD Radio standard for portable and consumer electronics applications. The receiver family is compatible with the European Eureka 147 DAB and DAB+ standards and is designed to be fully compliant with the United Kingdom's Minimum Specifications for DAB and DAB+ personal and domestic digital radio receivers.

Samples and production quantities of the Si468x digital radio receivers are available in two package options: a 7 x 7mm 48-pin QFN package and a tiny 3.2 x 3.8mm WLCSP package. Pricing for the Si468x receiver family begins at $5.62 in 10,000-unit quantities. To ease digital radio system design based on the Si468x family, Silicon Labs offers comprehensive evaluation kits priced at $550.

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