• Multi-standard software-defined radio co-processor for automotive entertainment supports DRM, HD Radio and DAB / DAB+ / T-DMB
• Highly integrated, high-performance platform shrinks total application footprint by over 75 percent
Eindhoven, Netherlands and Las Vegas, Nevada, January 9, 2014 – With digital radio gaining momentum in key markets around the world, a growing number of car OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers are offering in-car digital radio systems. The global market leader in semiconductors for car entertainment, NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) is set to accelerate this trend, with the introduction of a multi-standard software-defined radio co-processor capable of decoding all three major digital terrestrial radio standards including Digital Radio Mondiale™ (DRM), HD Radio™ and DAB/DAB+/T-DMB. Offering best-in-class reception, the new SAF360x series significantly enhances digital audio quality via advanced features such as Maximum Ratio Combining for DAB and HD Radio, and scalability for single, dual and triple tuner use cases. The SAF360x platform also offers an unprecedented level of integration, replacing up to six chips with a single IC and reducing the footprint of the automotive digital radio application by over 75% for considerable cost savings.
“The SAF360x series – code-named ‘Saturn’ – is the culmination of more than a decade of developing in-car digital radio solutions and finally offers the all-in-one integration, true multi-standard support, and breakthrough reception performance that leading car infotainment system suppliers have been waiting for,” said Torsten Lehmann, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Car Entertainment Solutions, NXP Semiconductors. “By dramatically reducing the total cost of designing and manufacturing in-car digital radio systems, we expect the SAF360x series will help to boost the availability and adoption of digital radio worldwide – in parallel with the rapidly growing availability of broadcast content and other add-on services such as traffic information, weather forecasts and interactive news updates that are becoming fundamental features in the connected car.”
Car manufacturers are expected to go into production with the first digital radio systems based on the SAF360x this year.
“With digital radio becoming standard on new BMW car models in key markets, we’ve worked hard to deliver the benefits of digital radio – including greater choice, improved reception and superior sound quality – under all possible driving conditions. As a long-standing supplier of solutions for in-car entertainment, NXP enables us to realize this vision,” said Dr. Bertram Hock, Group Leader, Broadcast Receiver Development, BMW.
NXP is showcasing the SAF360x series this week at the 2014 International CES (Las Vegas Convention Center, Central Plaza 9). A video overview of the SAF360x is available here: http://youtu.be/-XtKjR2kcQQ
By using software-defined radio, the SAF360x series – like its market-leading predecessor, the SAF356x – offers a cost-effective platform that allows the same hardware to be used to decode multiple standards. Currently supporting the three most popular digital terrestrial radio standards including HD Radio, DAB / DAB+ / T-DMB and DRM, this versatile platform could also be used to support new digital radio standards that emerge in the future.
With the SAF360x, NXP is the first semiconductor supplier to offer support for in-vehicle DRM reception, offering a cost-effective solution for OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers introducing in-car digital radio systems in emerging markets including India, Russia and Brazil. NXP has been involved in extensive field tests for DRM, which brings FM-quality audio in AM bands, including the first public “test drive” conducted last year with All India Radio (AIR) ahead of the nationwide rollout of DRM in India.
“By helping to demonstrate that DRM is ready for rollout in India, NXP has clearly established its expertise and commitment to the rapidly growing digital radio market worldwide. We congratulate NXP on the launch of its first multi-standard chipset incorporating DRM,” said Ruxandra Obreja, DRM Consortium Chairman and President, DRM Association.
Delivering best-in-class reception performance for DAB, DAB+ and T-DMB, which are gaining popularity in Europe, Korea and Australia, the SAF360x is the first automotive-quality chipset including two on-board high-performance DAB tuners and memory. With support for up to three tuner inputs, the chipset can be used for DAB, Maximum Ratio Combining (MRC) and background scan or data services. Using advanced wideband technology and software algorithms available only from NXP, the SAF360x solution provides ultra-fast DAB scanning and sync time, enhanced tuner sensitivity and seamless DAB-FM-DAB blending, delivering an impeccable audio experience without having to worry about losing reception.
For HD Radio systems, which are rapidly gaining popularity in the US and Mexico, the NXP SAF360x series also offers enhanced reception performance via MRC. Highly versatile and scalable, the SAF360x can be used in a wide range of HD Radio use cases – with a single low-cost tuner or up to three high-end tuner inputs. With the availability of three tuners, the SAF360x can be used to support HD Radio diversity reception, with background scanning or data services decoded from a second station in parallel. As the third-generation automotive HD Radio solution from NXP, the SAF360x also benefits from NXP’s long-standing collaboration with iBiquity Corporation, creators of HD Radio technology.
“Over the past decade, we’ve worked closely with NXP in defining and enhancing the HD Radio experience in the car. NXP has already set the bar high for multi-standard digital radio, and we’re excited to see the ‘Saturn’ platform becoming available in car entertainment systems from leading manufacturers later this year,” said Jeff Jury, Chief Operating Officer, iBiquity Digital Corporation.
The new high-performance digital radio co-processors work seamlessly with NXP’s industry-leading car radio and audio DSPs and AM/FM tuners. Together, they offer a complete and highly scalable global analog and digital radio solution for tuning and decoding a wide range of terrestrial radio standards with state-of-the-art performance.
NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) creates solutions that enable secure connections for a smarter world. Building on its expertise in High Performance Mixed Signal electronics, NXP is driving innovation in the automotive, identification and mobile industries, and in application areas including wireless infrastructure, lighting, healthcare, industrial, consumer tech and computing. NXP has operations in more than 25 countries, and posted revenue of $4.36 billion in 2012. Find out more at www.nxp.com.