Digital radio Rx chip gains approvals for worldwide reception standards

September 16, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Silicon Labs’ Si468x digital radio IC family now has additional options for AM and AM HD Radio. It is, the company says, the most cost-effective single-chip digital radio receiver available that supports worldwide radio reception and that is certified for the Digital Radio Tick Mark and AM/FM HD Radio.

Claimed as the first monolithic, CMOS-based antenna-input-to-audio-output digital radio ICs, the Si468x receivers meet the needs of portable and consumer electronics products supporting digital radio standards including tabletop and clock radios, boom boxes, mini/micro audio systems, home theatre systems, docking stations, mobile phones, tablets and personal media players.

The Si468x family features a low-power, multi-band receiver supporting global analogue and digital radio standards including AM, FM, FM RDS, AM/FM HD Radio, DAB and DAB+. The Si468x family is one of a few select receiver technologies to be approved by Digital Radio UK (DRUK) for the Digital Tick Mark. The Si468x ICs supporting AM/FM HD Radio reception are pre-certified by iBiquity, the sole developer and licenser of HD Radio technology, enabling designers to develop and certify their HD Radio products in the shortest timeframe possible.

The Si468x receiver family integrates RF tuner, baseband and audio processing circuitry on a single die. The Si468x receivers require a minimal bill of materials (BOM) and consume low power, the high level of integration providing benefits compared to traditional radio solutions including reduced system complexity, easier validation and testing, and improved reliability and manufacturability. The receivers support auto-calibrated digital tuning and AM/FM seek functionality based on multiple signal quality and band parameters, and they provide flexible, advanced audio processing including configurable AM/FM soft mute, FM stereo-mono blend and AM/FM hi-cut filtering.

Silabs additionally state of the chip family that it integrates high-performance DSP for audio decoding and flexible, advanced audio processing enabling improved audio performance; it offers the best sensitivity and selectivity of any single-chip digital radio receiver in the industry; master-mode/slave-mode modules are available to speed design-in and time to market; and a wafer-level chip-scale package (CSP) option enables a complete, compact radio receiver system with only 12 external components in under 100 mm². The chips start at $5.28 (10,000). The Si468x-QFN-EVB (FM/FM-HD/DAB/DAB+) and Si4689-QFN-EVB (AM/FM/HD/DAB/DAB+) evaluation boards cost $550.

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