Automotive receiver family

Louise Davis

Silicon Labs has developed a range of scalable, flexible and cost-effective car radio chips for the global automotive infotainment market.

The Global Eagle and Dual Eagle AM/FM receivers and digital radio tuners and Digital Falcon coprocessors allow car makers and Tier 1 suppliers to address digital standards in all market segments with a range of cost and performance levels while meeting rigorous automotive quality standards.

OEM and aftermarket radio designs using the chips can scale from low-cost, single-tuner AM/FM radios to high-performance systems with multiple tuners and antennas, enabling car radio suppliers to use designs across multiple product lines, all with a common software API.

The global light vehicle market will reach 93.5 million units this year according to market researchers IHS Markit, with radio systems segmented by entry-level, mid-range and premium feature tiers.

This has meant that radio makers must develop different radio systems with different cost targets, often within the same car models. This takes substantial R&D investment to address all market segments across numerous car models.

Providing a scalable hardware and software platform that enables car radio suppliers to address multiple markets with a common radio hardware and software design. This helps reduce design, qualification, sourcing and inventory costs.

The Global Eagle (Si4795x) and Dual Eagle (Si4796x and Si4797x) families of analogue AM/FM receivers and digital radio tuners extend the existing families of tuners with a patented low-IF digital architecture, delivering higher RF performance and interference rejection.

The Si479xx family’s comprehensive firmware algorithms dynamically adjust signal reception in moving cars to ensure optimal reception under the harshest field conditions.

The audio subsystem of both Eagle families allows designers to synchronise, process and distribute digital and audio signals in the automotive head unit.

Silicon Labs provides four- and six-channel audio post-processing reference designs supporting cabin equalisation, loudness compensation, tone control, chime generation and audio source mixing. This architecture also enables the 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 minimisze 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.

“When Silicon Labs introduced its first single-chip RF-in-CMOS audio ICs 12 years ago, we redefined how AM/FM receivers were designed into consumer electronics products by reducing component count by more than 90 percent and board space by more than 60 percent,” said Brian Mirkin, General Manager of Broadcast Products at Silicon Labs. “To date, Silicon Labs has shipped more than 1.5 billion radio-on-a-chip ICs including more than 50 million OEM automotive tuners, culminating with our latest Global Eagle, Dual Eagle and Digital Falcon families, comprising the industry’s most advanced, scalable car radio system solution.”

Samples and production quantities of Global Eagle and Dual Eagle receivers and tuners and Digital Falcon coprocessors are available now.

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