Claimed as an industry first, Silicon Labs has introduced a single-die antenna-input-to-audio-output digital radio receiver solution for portable and consumer electronics markets.

Using the company’s software-defined radio technology, the new monolithic Si468x receiver ICs bring FM, HD Radio and DAB/DAB+ broadcast capabilities to a wide range of 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.

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.

Previously, 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.

With the development of this type of new product family, which are a single-die solution they have the capability to reduce system complexity, bill of materials (BOM) count and power consumption without compromising RF performance.

Integrating the company’s low-IF digital receiver architecture, the devices 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 devices help towards reducing 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.

By integrating the RF tuner and baseband functions on a single die, the family avoids radio self-interference and streamlines system design, validation and testing.

Digital radio is the next wave of the broadcast audio industry, enabling CD-quality sound for radio listeners and a host of innovative broadcast data services,” said James Stansberry, Vice President and General Manager of Silicon Labs’ broadcast products.

“We’ve responded to the needs of the global digital radio market by developing a ‘digital-radio-on-a-chip’ solution that enables developers to reduce implementation costs and simplify their portable and home audio product designs while delivering the highest RF performance and sound quality to consumers.”

The company advises, the 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 family includes monolithic digital radio receiver ICs certified by iBiquity to support the HD Radio standard for portable and consumer electronics applications.

The 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.

Silicon Labs