NEW ORLEANS -- During a radio broadcasters conference here today, Philips Semiconductors announced plans to develop and market application-specific ICs for iBiquity Digital Corp.'s digital AM and FM radio technology.
Privately-held iBiquity Digital in Columbia, Md., has developed and licensed its In-Band On-Channel (IBOC) digital broadcast technology for transmission of programs at existing dial settings on radio sets in the United States. Philips said its ASIC designs will enable radio manufacturers to include IBOC capabilities in AM and FM receivers at lower costs.
"This agreement formalizes our relationship into a long-term partnership to evolve IBOC semiconductor offerings for multiple integrated solutions for consumer electronics," said Robert Struble, president and CEO of iBiquity Digital.
The IBOC technology is aimed at transforming analog radio to a digital format with higher quality sound--on par with CDs, according to iBiquity--while enabling AM and FM radios stations to send digital signals for wireless data transmission. Integrated audio and data transmission will enable a variety of consumer applications, such as the display of station and program content, stock and news information, local traffic and weather and more, according to iBiquity.
The U.S. company believes its technology will enable the country's 12,000 radio stations to move from analog to higher-quality digital broadcasting without service disruption. And Dutch-based Philips wants to be involved in this transition.
"Using IBOC as a foundation, Philips Semiconductors will develop next-generation ASIC solutions capable of supporting multiple platforms for new and exciting consumer product offerings," stated Pascal Langlois, vice president and general manager the Global Market Segment for automotive and ASIC-SoC business development at the chip unit of Royal Philips Electronics N.V.
Philips did not release details about when it will introduce IBOC-based ASICs.