Digital performance for analogue radios

13 April 2010

Silicon Labs is bringing digital performance to analogue radios with the Si4830 AM/FM receiver

Silicon Labs is bringing digital performance to analogue radios with the Si4830 AM/FM receiver.

The Si4830 is the industry’s first CMOS wheel-tuned AM/FM radio receiver IC, offering a full AM/FM radio from antenna input to audio output in a single small chip, and its high level of integration reduces the existing solution component count by more than 80%. Using the Si4830 eliminates the need for external microcontrollers, AM/FM filters, tuning inductors and other components, reducing material and labour costs. Developers only need to add an antenna, mechanical-tuning and off/on volume wheels, amplification and two AAA batteries, and the Si4830 receiver becomes the platform for a low-cost radio design.

As the world’s manufacturing centre for AM/FM radios using traditional analogue technology, China still produces more than 100 million analogue radio units per year for worldwide shipment. These analogue-intensive radio designs typically require dozens of discrete components and undergo significant rework and manual tuning during manufacturing and assembly. The Si4830 requires only twelve surface-mount components within a compact, 20mm squared single-side board area. This small design and simple board configuration further reduce cost and enable AM/FM functionality to be propagated into even more end products.

“Many manufacturers of mechanically tuned AM/FM radios have had no alternative to the labour-intensive, discrete method of building and manufacturing low-cost radios,” said Dave Bresemann, Vice President of Silicon Labs' broadcast products. “Our mixed-signal Si4830 receiver makes cutting-edge digital radio technology available to the analogue, mechanically tuned radio market, creating new opportunities for customers to reduce manufacturing cost and add AM/FM radio functionality to a variety of consumer electronics products.”

The Si4830 supports European EN55020 compliance and delivers simple, accurate and reliable tuning for worldwide FM bands from 64-108 MHz and AM bands from 520-1710 kHz. It is available now in 10K quantities in a 24-pin SSOP package. The Si4830-DEMO, a demonstration kit designed to aid product evaluation and development, is also available.

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