Silicon Laboratories has announced the Si474x, what is said to be the industry’s smallest, most fully-integrated automotive AM/FM radio receiver IC. Based on Silicon Labs’ proven digital low-IF architecture, the Si474x family is the first automotive AM/FM receiver to be implemented in CMOS, meeting demanding automotive-grade radio performance requirements while saving cost and reducing customers’ time to market. The Si474x family supports worldwide radio band requirements, including FM, FM radio data system (RDS), AM, long wave (LW), short wave (SW) and weather bands, giving customers the flexibility to support a variety of world wide needs with a single design.
The automotive industry is facing significant market pressure to lower costs without sacrificing performance. This is especially true in entry-level automotive markets, where consumer demand for lower-priced vehicles drives annual growth at rates above 10 percent. Silicon Labs addresses these market needs with the Si474x by reducing the external component count and associated cost more than 40 percent compared to competitive solutions, simplifying the design process for fast time to market and eliminating the need for manual alignment during manufacturing.
While the Si474x simplifies system design and manufacturing, it offers uncompromised performance and advanced features tailored to automotive market requirements. Silicon Labs has built the Si474x upon its successful AM/FM business in portable and consumer electronic devices, adding additional features and ensuring automotive-grade quality. The single-chip solution supports integrated algorithms for fully customizable multipath detection and mitigation, impulse noise event detection and blanking, and advanced audio behavior in the presence of blockers, fading signals or other adverse radio environments. Each of these advanced features is fully programmable, allowing customization for each manufacturer and model. The Si474x command and argument programming model is straightforward to use and Silicon Labs offers example code with default settings based on extensive field testing to speed development.
The Si474x also integrates the industry’s most advanced RDS decoder, addressing the growing market trend to add FM RDS to all receivers. The single chip solution is packaged in a tiny 4 x 4mm package, requiring a PCB footprint of less than 4 cm2 inclusive of all bill-of-materials. This level of integration minimizes routing of sensitive RF signals outside of the IC, further simplifying the PCB design process. The Si474x consumes less than one-tenth the power of competitive tuner ICs, simplifying system thermal design.
“The entry level automotive radio market is growing rapidly and has a blend of needs that Silicon Labs is uniquely qualified to address,” said Mark Thompson, general manager of Silicon Laboratories broadcast audio products. “By leveraging our proven and patented CMOS digital architecture, Silicon Labs is able to bring end-to-end cost savings to this important segment, without sacrificing performance and automotive quality expectations.”