Worldwide reception for digital radio receiver in chip scale packaging

Paul Boughton

Silicon Labs has added new options for AM HD and DAB radio to its Si468x digital radio IC family that also uses chip scale packaging, writes Nick Flaherty.

The Si468x devices the industry’s first monolithic, CMOS-based antenna-input-to-audio-output digital radio ICs for worldwide radio reception and are now certified for the Digital Radio Tick Mark and AM/FM HD Radio. The receivers are aimed at portable and consumer electronics products supporting digital radio standards including tabletop and clock radios, boom boxes, mini/micro audio systems, home theater systems, docking stations, mobile phones, tablets and personal media players.

The Si468x family features a low-power, multi-band receiver supporting global analog 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. This means that consumers who buy Si468x-based DAB radios can be assured of the quality of their radios and their readiness for digital radio reception. 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 offers a complete, cost-effective digital radio solution integrating the RF tuner, baseband and audio processing circuitry on a single die. The Si468x receivers require a minimal bill of materials (BOM) and consume very low power, making the ICs suitable for the portable and mainstream consumer electronics markets. The family’s high level of integration provides significant benefits compared to traditional radio solutions including reduced system complexity, easier validation and testing, and improved reliability and manufacturability.

Using a proven digital low-IF receiver architecture, the Si468x 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.

The receivers are pin- and API-compatible for DAB and HD radio, enabling one single design to support both digital radio markets, while worldwide AM and FM band support allows future IBOC adoption beyond North America. They include an integrated VCO, PLL, synthesizer and high-fidelity stereo audio DACs for reduced board area and BOM cost, as well as an integrated high-performance DSP for audio decoding and flexible, advanced audio processing enabling improved audio performance. Wafer-level chip-scale package (CSP) option enabling complete, compact radio receiver system with only 12 external components in < 100 mm2 area

Samples and volume quantities of Silicon Labs’ Si468x digital radio receiver ICs are available now.