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Single-chip FM radio transceiver family

13th February 2007
ES Admin
Silicon Laboratories Inc. has announced what it says is the first single-chip FM radio transceiver family. The digital architecture of the Si472x transceiver combines the functionality of the Si470x FM radio receiver with the Si471x FM radio transmitter in a single 3x3x0.55 mm package. Competing solutions require at least two chips, more than 50 external components and up to five times more board space.
The Si472x FM transceiver is optimized for portable applications, offering the ability to both receive FM broadcasts over the air and create a wireless audio link from the device to any FM receiver. The Si472x is targeted to mobile phones, digital media players, portable gaming devices and satellite receivers, and GPS/navigation devices.

The Si472x is layout compatible with Silicon Laboratories’ new Si473x AM/FM radio receiver, the Si470x FM radio receiver and the Si471x FM transmitter solutions, allowing a single PCB layout to seamlessly support all these options. The Si472x supports analog and digital audio interfaces to simplify customer design, speed time-to-market and offer unique features such as recording FM broadcasts for ring-tones. The digital audio interface also reduces system power and extends battery life by eliminating the need for redundant data converters.

The Si472x provides industry-leading selectivity and sensitivity, as well as adjustable seek, soft mute and stereo blend, fundamental to superior audio performance in highly variable FM
broadcast radio environments. The high performance Si472x also enables unmatched volume output stability on the receiving system and increases transmitted audio fidelity through automatic audio dynamic range control.

The Si4721 is the only single-chip FM radio transceiver with transmit and receive support for the European Radio Data System (RDS) and the U.S. Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS). Using the RDS transmit function, the Si472x can broadcast the song name, artist and album to create a visual user experience similar to a portable media player. The Si472x also works with an integrated antenna for both receive and transmit, eliminating the need for a headphone cable when using a Bluetooth headset. In addition, having both transmit and receive functions in the device allows consumers to share songs wirelessly between players.

“Cost effectively enabling both FM radio reception and transmission is a requirement for portable consumer device manufacturers,” said Tyson Tuttle, vice president of Silicon Laboratories. “Since launching our FM receiver in 2005, we have shipped tens of millions of products to many leading handset, digital media player and GPS manufacturers. The new single-chip FM radio transceiver leverages our unique RF expertise to create another disruptive innovation in integration and performance, enabling our customers to continue to improve consumers’ listening experience while easing system design and lowering cost.”

The Si4720 is sampling now, and the Si4721 is available for sampling in May 2007. Pricing for the Si4720 begins at $5.26 in quantities of 10K. Pricing for the Si4721, which supports RDS/RBDS, begins at $6.31 in quantities of 10K. An evaluation board is available for $150.

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