Frontier Silicon, the leading supplier of digital radio technology, is enabling manufacturers around the world to produce a single low-cost digital radio receiver with full Europe-wide compatibility. This is being made possible for the first time through the alignment of broadcasters, regulators and technology providers in defining the minimum requirements for receivers - an unprecedented initiative that is creating the right conditions for the successful launch of digital radio across Europe.
Frontier Silicon is working in close collaboration with the international digital broadcasting standards body, WorldDMB, as a member of the Receiver Profile Task Force. This group has been formed in response to requests from German, French and UK broadcasting industries and regulators to define a set of common Eureka-147 standard-based receiver profiles. The European Broadcasting Union and EICTA, the representative body of the European consumer electronics technology industry, have requested these minimum profiles to enable the proliferation of low-cost unified receivers across Europe as broadcasters introduce their planned digital services.
“With Germany planning to launch national digital radio in 2009, and France also aiming to launch services in the same timeframe, the work that WorldDMB is coordinating to create unified receiver profiles is perfectly timed,” commented Anthony Sethill, CEO of Frontier Silicon. “Once the profiles are agreed, technology providers such as Frontier will be able to deliver receiver chipsets and modules that deliver manufacturers the economies-of-scale that come from a pan-European market place, while driving down costs and delivering a wide range of receiver choice to the consumer.”
He adds, “This is one of the key reasons why Frontier Silicon launched the DAB/DAB+ Venice 5.1 module earlier this year. It has the same footprint as the Venice 5.0 module, which is already in over 80 percent of DAB solutions used worldwide. Manufacturers looking to produce DAB+/DMB-A receivers for the German market will be able to use existing DAB receivers, replacing the module to provide a single unified receiver for rapid deployment with minimal development cost. Such multi-profile solutions will be the catalyst for digital radio roll-out in Europe over the next two years.”
DAB+ is based on the original DAB standard and uses a more efficient audio codec. DAB uses MPEG Audio Layer II (or MP2), while DAB+ uses HE-AAC v2 (also better known as MP4 or AAC+). This allows better audio quality to be broadcast at lower bit rates. The key benefit is improved spectrum efficiency, leading to lower costs for broadcasters and a wider choice of stations for consumers. DMB-A is more tailored to carrying advanced data services such as MPEG-4 BIFS and adds the option of video streaming. Broadcasters benefit from having the freedom to choose the optimal profile while solutions such as Venice 5.1 ensure a large range of compatible receivers are available from launch.
The Venice 5.1 module from Frontier Silicon is a Eureka-147 compliant receiver enabling ultra-low power consumption DAB+, DAB, DMB-A and FM across multiple profiles. It is electrically and mechanically compatible with the well-established Venice 5.0 module used in many DAB radios available today. The module is a full receiver solution comprising all components and interfaces necessary for a pan-European radio – needing only power supply, display, keypad, audio amplifier and speakers to complete a product.
Frontier Silicon is demonstrating Venice 5.1 along with full solutions for Internet Radio at IFA in Berlin from 29th August. Visitors can see how the company is enabling digital radio markets throughout the world.
Frontier Silicon is the world's leading supplier of integrated circuits and modules for digital audio receiver products and mobile digital TV. Established in 2001 as a privately funded fabless semiconductor company, Frontier Silicon has over 140 employees. The company is based in Watford, England, with design centres in Cambridge, Dublin and Shannon. Frontier Silicon also has branch offices and technical support representation in Hong Kong, China and Japan. Products include complete solutions for digital audio systems and mobile TV, from silicon through software to production-ready platform designs.
Customers include Alba, Bang & Olufsen, Bose, Bush, Denon, Cyrus, Goodmans, Grundig, harman/kardon, Hitachi, JVC, Magic Box, Ministry of Sound, Onkyo, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Pure, Revo, Roberts, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony, TEAC, Tivoli Audio and Yamaha.
Frontier Silicon is a trademark or registered trademark of Frontier Silicon Ltd.