Multi-standard, scalable silicon offering for car radio designs

Multi-standard, scalable silicon offering for car radio designs

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By eeNews Europe

The Si479xx family of AM/FM receivers and digital radio tuners for car radio reception has on-chip audio processing at the lowest system cost. The Si46xx family, which includes single-chip digital radio-coprocessors and data receivers, provides an advanced digital radio audio decoding and data reception solution for analogue and digital radio.

Many of today’s vehicles feature sophisticated infotainment systems with multiple tuner ICs and antennas to support maximal ratio combining (MRC) for digital radio, FM phase diversity reception, Radio Data System (RDS) info-navigation data, and digital radio standards such as HD Radio and Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB). Silicon Labs developed the Si479xx and Si46xx portfolio to address the global demand for advanced car radio technology supporting all worldwide broadcast radio bands.

The Si479xx family of analogue AM/FM receivers and digital radio tuners uses Silicon Labs’ low-IF digital architecture to deliver RF performance and interference rejection for car radio applications. The RF CMOS design, combined with AM/FM firmware, sets a higher bar for key automotive radio metrics, such as sensitivity in weak signal environments, selectivity in the presence of blockers, and immunity to multipath fading and distortion. An integrated audio subsystem provides a solution to synchronise, process and distribute digital and audio signals in the automotive head-unit. To reduce time-to-market for developers, Silicon Labs offers four-channel and six-channel audio post-processing reference designs. In addition, Silicon Labs provides a software development kit (SDK) that simplifies porting of third-party algorithms to the audio subsystem.

Silicon Labs’ Si462x data receiver family offers a comprehensive, cost-effective platform that supports analogue and digital radio by integrating a multiband RF tuner, demodulator and channel decoder on a single die. The Si462x receivers provide advances in size, power consumption and performance over all other solutions in the market to enable HD Radio and DAB/DAB+ data services in automotive infotainment systems and car radios. The Si462x family’s high level of single-chip integration simplifies infotainment system design cycles.

The Si461x digital radio coprocessors provide channel demodulation and source decoding of HD Radio and DAB/DAB+ digital radio. The Si461x coprocessors minimise the system bill of materials (BOM) by eliminating the external RAM memory module for channel decoding typically required by competing digital radio processors. All Si461x/2x IC products are HD Radio certified by iBiquity, giving automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers the assurance that these devices have gone through rigorous testing and meet or exceed iBiquity’s high-performance digital radio requirements.

Si479xx integrated active loop-through buffers eliminate the need for external RF splitters, simplifying design for applications requiring a data receiver for background scanning and real-time traffic information. The Si479xx audio subsystem with integrated analogue-to-digital converters (ADCs) and digital-to-analogue converters (DACs) and the Si461x digital radio coprocessors with integrated RAM for channel decoding eliminate numerous external components, resulting in significant cost savings and reduced board area.

The Si479xx/Si46xx portfolio provides a scalable architecture; for example, a single global printed circuit board (PCB) can be designed with options to use Si461x coprocessors or Si462x data receivers as needed to enable RDS, HD Radio and DAB/DAB+. All Si479xx/Si46xx devices share a common application programming interface (API), enabling developers to reuse the same software across different product lines and market segments. The Si4791-3T1A-EVB evaluation kit is available for $1495.

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