Skyworks Solutions
1221 Mw Skyworks Si4694 Promo 61b277366bd92

Digital-Radio Coprocessor Ushers DRM30 Into Infotainment Systems and Car Radios

Dec. 9, 2021
Skyworks’ Si4694 reduces overall system BOM for automotive platform designs addressing all global mainstream digital-radio standards.

The Overview

In its new Si4694 digital-radio baseband coprocessor, Skyworks Solutions offers a complement to its Si479xx family of automotive radio tuners that adds AM-band Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM30) capabilities to infotainment systems and car radios.

Who Needs It & Why?

In the last few years, the DRM30 digital-radio standard has gained momentum, offering several advantages over traditional AM/FM radio in enhancing the in-vehicle user experience. Compared to AM/FM radio, the open DRM30 standard offers improved reception, greater coverage, and CD-like audio quality. Moreover, the higher bandwidth in DRM30 allows both audio and data (consisting of text, images, traffic, and more) to be rendered simultaneously.

However, the complexity, inefficiency, and high cost of handling multiple platforms in supporting different digital radio standards has been a concern for automotive applications. The Si4694 addresses this concern by enabling multiple digital-radio standards on a single platform, whether it’s DRM for AM/HD Radio, DAB, DAB+, or DMB. The result is significantly improved audio quality (FM-like mono or stereo) as well as better radio reception in poor signal conditions.

Under the Hood

Skyworks’ new coprocessor provides demodulation and source decoding of DRM for AM signals delivering audio and data and supports all operating modes of DRM30 (Modes A to D). A compelling element of the device is its promise to reduce the overall system bill of materials (BOM); the highly integrated device requires only a handful of external components.

The Si4694 generates its internal clocking from an external crystal using an integrated oscillator or an external reference clock and supports a selectable host-control interface (SPI or I2C). Combined with Skyworks’ Si479xx tuners, the Si4694 provides a complete and cost-effective DRM for AM solution.

Packaged in a 10x10x1-mm, 72-pin LGA, the Si4694 is pin/package- and API-compatible with Skyworks’ Si4692/93 digital-radio coprocessors. It offers reduced PCB footprint as well as lower power consumption than alternative approaches.

About the Author

David Maliniak | Executive Editor, Microwaves & RF

I am Executive Editor of Microwaves & RF, an all-digital publication that broadly covers all aspects of wireless communications. More particularly, we're keeping a close eye on technologies in the consumer-oriented 5G, 6G, IoT, M2M, and V2X markets, in which much of the wireless market's growth will occur in this decade and beyond. I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, developers, and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.

You can send press releases for new products for possible coverage on the website. I am also interested in receiving contributed articles for publishing on our website. Use our contributor's packet, in which you'll find an article template and lots more useful information on how to properly prepare content for us, and send to me along with a signed release form. 

About me:

In his long career in the B2B electronics-industry media, David Maliniak has held editorial roles as both generalist and specialist. As Components Editor and, later, as Editor in Chief of EE Product News, David gained breadth of experience in covering the industry at large. In serving as EDA/Test and Measurement Technology Editor at Electronic Design, he developed deep insight into those complex areas of technology. Most recently, David worked in technical marketing communications at Teledyne LeCroy, leaving to rejoin the EOEM B2B publishing world in January 2020. David earned a B.A. in journalism at New York University.

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