NXP Semiconductors, a leading supplier of car infotainment semiconductors, has revealed that it has successfully completed live reception of all three major terrestrial digital radio standards – DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale), DAB and HD Radio – in a car. The live public demo, which took place at the Broadcast Engineering Society (BES EXPO 2013) event in New Delhi, India, ahead of the country’s national roll-out of DRM, was achieved using NXP’s software-defined multi-standard co-processor for automotive terrestrial digital radio reception.
NXP’s R&D centre in Bangalore, India has played a key role in integrating DRM decoder functionality into the company’s automotive terrestrial digital radio solution to create a multi-standard chipset that can be used in markets globally. It enables manufacturers to achieve significant economies of scale by having just one global hardware platform for the three main terrestrial digital radio standards.
The demo was conducted in cooperation with All India Radio (AIR), the national broadcaster of India and operator of one of the largest radio networks in the world.
DRM is an innovative digital radio standard currently being implemented in emerging markets such as India, providing FM-comparable or better audio quality on the AM radio band. AM covers over 98% of the population in India, while only 37% of listeners can currently receive the FM signal. DRM significantly improves audio quality at a low cost, while providing additional data services such as traffic updates, natural disaster warnings and news.
Ruxandra Obreja, chairman of the DRM Consortium, welcomed this latest development: “The automotive industry in India, and in the rest of the world, is one of the biggest drivers of the transition from analogue to digital radio. This live demonstration of a DRM car receiver at the BES event was a giant step in this transition. The work and tests which have been carried out since then by local agencies highlight that DRM in India is a reality and that the auto industry is at the forefront of the Indian digital radio roll-out.”
Ashok Chandak, senior director, global sales and marketing for India, NXP Semiconductors, commented: “With this demo, we have become the first semiconductor company to demonstrate digital audio across all three global standards from the same car radio co-processor – a real milestone. Already, several automotive and car radio manufacturers have shown strong interest in using our DRM solution for future deployment.”