Scalable car radio platform targets global infotainment market

Scalable car radio platform targets global infotainment market

New Products |
By Rich Pell

The devices enable car makers and Tier 1 suppliers to address all market segments, cost and performance levels, and digital radio standards while meeting automotive quality standards. OEM and aftermarket radio designs based on this portfolio can scale from low-cost, single-tuner AM/FM radios to high-performance systems with multiple tuners and antennas, enabling car radio suppliers to amortize their R&D across multiple product lines, all with a common software API.

According to [analysts] IHS Markit, the global light vehicle market will reach 93.5 million units in 2017, with radio systems segmented by entry-level, mid-range and premium feature tiers. To address this broad market, radio vendors must develop different radio systems while meeting diverse cost targets, often within the same car models.

With existing solutions, it takes substantial R&D investment to address all market segments across numerous car models. Silicon Labs says it has a unique scalable hardware/software platform that enables car radio suppliers to address multiple markets with a common radio hardware and software design.

The Global Eagle (Si4795x) and Dual Eagle (Si4796x and Si4797x) families of analog AM/FM receivers and digital radio tuners optimize scalability and automotive broadcast reception. The Eagle families extend the performance of Silicon Labs’ tuners and receivers. Si479xx devices use Silicon Labs’ low-IF digital architecture, delivering superior RF performance and interference rejection. The Si479xx family’s firmware algorithms dynamically adjust signal reception in moving cars to ensure optimal reception.

The audio subsystem of both Eagle families provides a complete solution to synchronize, process and distribute digital and audio signals in the automotive head unit. To accelerate time to market, Silicon Labs provides four- and six-channel audio post-processing reference designs supporting cabin equalization, loudness compensation, tone control, chime generation and audio source mixing. This flexible architecture enables integration of customer or third-party algorithms.

The Digital Falcon (Si469x) family of digital radio coprocessors provides channel demodulation and source decoding of HD Radio and DAB/DAB+ digital signals delivering audio and data. Digital Falcon coprocessors simplify system design and minimize the bill of materials (BOM) by eliminating the need for an external RAM memory module for channel decoding typically required by third-party digital radio processors.

The Digital Falcon family enables designs to scale from low- to high-end systems with its seamless blending capabilities for DAB/DAB+, as well as its support for Automatic Level and Time Alignment (ALTA) for HD systems.

To accelerate development, Silicon Labs provides comprehensive evaluation kits for designs based on the Global Eagle, Dual Eagle and Digital Falcon families.

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