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Technology platform enables next-gen digital car radios

July 19, 2012 | Christoph Hammerschmidt | 222902378
Technology platform enables next-gen digital car radios With digital car radio systems already being state of the art in some geographies while in other regions AM is still the predominant technology, a common technology for a continent-spanning radio platform is overdue. STMicroelectronics now has introduced a digital radio chipset that enables simultaneous reception and processing of AM/FM and multiple digital-radio broadcasts (e.g. DAB+). The product is accompanied by a software stack and support for a number of different broadcasting standards.

Developed in cooperation with Bosch Car Multimedia, ST's multi-standard digital radio chipset shortcuts the path to high-performance, cost-effective car infotainment systems. These systems will enhance the driving experience with new-generation radio features and value-added services like synchronized streaming of textual and visual information, including real-time weather and traffic updates.

“We are integrating ST's multi-standard digital radio receiver into our head-unit platform due to its outstanding performance, flexibility and integration benefits”, said Dr. Michael Bolle, Robert Bosch Car Multimedia GmbH, Executive Vice President Engineering. “ST's versatile solution allows us to easily address any market requirement with a cost-effective offering for next-generation in-car infotainment.”

The chipset can receive and decode up to four channels in parallel, two for FM phase diversity and two for terrestrial digital broadcasting (e.g. DAB). With this feature, the car radio can receive audio content from one channel, while pulling real-time traffic and weather information from another one at the same time. The radio receiver can also seamlessly switch between the analog legacy FM and the digital radio signals and simultaneously demodulate audio and data from two separate digital radio channels (DAB 1.5).

ST’s new digital radio chipset is a complete receiver solution based on one or more (up to 4) multi-standard RF ICs and a base-band processing IC running the full software stack. The chipset delivers superior real-time performance without bottlenecks in the baseband processing, coupled with low current consumption and minimized electromagnetic interference. It supports the DAB family of standards (DAB/DAB+/DMB-A), the Digital Radio Mondiale open broadcasting standard, as well as the HD Radio technology (when combined with an external co-processor).

The chipset is already in mass production, ST added.











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