The new car entertainment solution offers manufacturers the flexibility to continue using their pre-existing HD radio architecture, as DRM capability is simply enabled by loading new firmware onto the processor. The application can also be extended to DRM+ in future.
DRM digital radio is a standard currently being implemented in emerging markets such as India and Russia. DRM provides FM-comparable audio quality on the AM radio band. AM covers 98% of the population in India, while only 37% of listeners can currently receive the FM signal. As such, DRM enables digital radio to be rolled out across large countries, significantly improving audio quality at a low cost.
The demonstration of an automotive-qualified DRM platform at CES is being seen as the next big milestone in introducing Digital Radio Mondiale in India. In 2010, the Indian Government gave green light and allocated funds for the digitization of All India Radio, the public radio broadcaster in India and one of the largest radio networks in the world. The largest MW DRM transmitter in the country (and one of the largest in the world with a power of 1 Megawatt) has been already installed in the west of the country with transmissions due on the air imminently. At the end of 2011, All India Radio had doubled its DRM transmissions to 16 hours a day.
“This new automotive DRM solution will definitely advance the roll out of DRM in India, one of the fastest growing car markets in the world,” said Ruxandra Obreja, Chairman of the DRM Consortium, a non-profit organization driving DRM uptake across the globe.
“With this product, we now have a single hardware platform covering all the main terrestrial digital radio standards, enabling us to offer our customers a truly global solution,” said Torsten Lehmann, general manager Car Entertainment business, NXP Semiconductors. “This product supports NXP’s Car Entertainment strategy of taking the lead in software-defined multi-standard digital radio solutions. DRM will enable a significant proportion of the population in countries such as India to receive high quality radio broadcast for free. As such, we’re really excited to help bring this standard especially to the world’s emerging markets.”