Silicon Labs : Fully-integrated automotive AM/FM radio receiver IC reduces component count by 40 percent

Silicon Laboratories Inc. has announced the Si474x, 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.”

Silicon Labs is an ISO/TS-16949 registered company, and all of the company’s automotive products are AEC-Q100 qualified.

Pricing and Availability

The Si474x family is sampling now. Pricing for the Si4743, which supports AM/FM, FM RDS/RBDS, LW and weather band begins at $7.48 in quantities of 10K. Volume production for the Si474x family is expected in Q4 2008. An evaluation board is available now for $150.

Silicon Laboratories Inc.

Silicon Laboratories is an industry leader in the innovation of high-performance, analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs. Developed by a world-class engineering team with unsurpassed expertise in mixed-signal design, Silicon Labs’ diverse portfolio of highly integrated, easy-to-use products offers customers significant advantages in performance, size and power consumption. These patented solutions serve a broad set of markets and applications including consumer, communications, computing, industrial and automotive.

Headquartered in Austin, TX, Silicon Labs is a global enterprise with operations, sales and design activities worldwide. The company is committed to contributing to our customers’ success by recruiting the highest quality talent to create industry-changing innovations.

For more information about Silicon Labs, please visit

Silicon Laboratories Inc.,
Lindsey Starnes, +1 512-532-5349,

Note: The above text is the public part of the press release obtained from the manufacturer (with minor modifications). EETimes Europe cannot be held responsible for the claims and statements made by the manufacturer. The text is intended as a supplement to the new product presentations in EETimes Europe magazine.

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