Silicon Labs has introduced what it claims is the industry’s most advanced automotive tuner IC family designed to deliver best-in-class AM/FM and HD Radio/DAB/DMB digital radio performance for demanding car radio systems. The next-generation Si4790x tuner IC family provides flexibility and scalability for Tier 1 automotive infotainment suppliers and aftermarket car radio makers worldwide.
The Si4790x family leverages Silicon Labs’ patented digital low-IF architecture and RF in CMOS technology.
According to Silicon Labs the superior linearity of the Si4790x tuner’s integrated RF front-end, combined with a comprehensive AM/FM firmware running on a high-performance on-chip radio DSP, sets a new bar for key automotive radio metrics such as sensitivity in weak signal environments, selectivity in the presence of blockers, and immunity to multipath fading and distortion.
According to IHS Automotive, global automotive sales reached nearly 83 million vehicles in 2013 and will climb to 85 million vehicles in 2014. Many of these vehicles feature sophisticated infotainment systems with multiple tuner ICs and antennas to deliver FM phase diversity reception, receive Radio Data System (RDS) data for info-navigation systems, and support digital radio standards such as HD Radio prevalent in the U.S. market and Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB), the leading European standard. The Si4790x tuner family has been designed to support all worldwide broadcast radio bands including AM/FM, longwave (LW), shortwave (SW), NOAA weather band, FM RDS decoding, and AM/FM HD Radio and DAB reception (Band-III and L-band).
The Si4790x family’s scalable architecture means that developers will be able to optimise system configurations to match specific automotive OEM requirements worldwide. Leveraging the Si4790x family, Tier 1 suppliers can make the most of their R&D investment across multiple product segments, from cost-effective single-tuner designs to premium multi-tuner systems, with one modular architecture. All tuner devices in the Si4790x family share the same application programming interface (API) allowing infotainment system developers to reuse the same software across different product lines and market segments.
The Si4790x tuners’ high level of single-chip integration enables developers to significantly reduce board space, the external bill of materials and overall system cost. The tuners integrate active loop-through buffers for all radio bands, eliminating external active splitters. Integrated active loop-through buffers greatly simplify the front-end RF design, further reducing cost.