PORTLAND, Ore. — Designers can now add the world's first single-die digital radio to any consumer gadget for just $5. The complete antenna-to-audio radio receiver from mixed-signal chip maker Silicon Labs (Austin, Texas) was announced coincident with the opening day of DESIGN West 2013 (April 22-25). The Si468x family uses software-defined radio technology to support FM, HD Radio and Digital Audio Radio (DAB/DAB+) broadcasts.
"Designers of all sorts of price-sensitive devices can now add FM band, high-definition [HD] and digital audio broadcast [DAB] capabilities to clock-radios, home-audio systems, and portable consumer devices of all kinds," said James Stansberry, vice president and general manager of Silicon Labs' broadcast products in a sneak-peak preview last week at the Global Press eSummit 2013 (Santa Cruz, Calif.) "Makers of everything from inexpensive boomboxes to mainstream mini- and micro-audio systems to high-end multimedia systems--as well as mobile phones, tablets and personal navigation devices--can now leverage our mixed-signal software-defined radio technology to easily add digital radio to their device's feature set."
Digital radio not only offers better audio quality than traditional analog AM/FM broadcasts, but also allows devices to stream the artists name, song names as well as other program-oriented information, from weather forecasts to news headlines to regional traffic updates.
Any designer can add-on a Silicon Labs Si468x digital radio on-a-chip to their device by just adding an antenna and an audio jack.
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The sophisticated antenna-to-audio solution offers auto-calibrated digital tuning and FM seek capabilities, as well as audio processing features like noise blanking, configurable FM soft mute, de-emphasis and hi-cut filtering. The single mixed-signal die offers a inexpensive solution with minimal parts count and power consumption by virtue of its low-IF software-defined radio architecture.
Besides the RF radio front-end provided on the Si468x, it also includes all necessary baseband circuitry including stereo audio digital-to-analog converters, as well as a wafer-level chip-scale package option, and requires only 12 external components consuming just 100 square millimeters of board space. The Si468x consumes 60 miliWatta in analog FM mode and less than 95 miliWatts in HD Radio and DAB/DAB+ modes.