At the IFA Consumer Electronics trade fair in Berlin today, STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a leader in technologies for digital radio, in cooperation with Kenwood and the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (Fraunhofer IIS), presented a fully working prototype of a Digital Radio Mondiale(TM) (DRM(TM)) receiver that would pave the way to the development of a low-power Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) for DRM applications such as fixed and portable radios, car receivers, software receivers, and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). The prototype can be seen and heard at the Fraunhofer IIS booth in the Science and Technology Forum (TWF) in Hall 5.3 and at the Kenwood booth in Hall 17, Stand No.102.
Standardized by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), Digital Radio Mondiale is a universal, open standard digital radio system with FM-like sound quality available to markets worldwide for long-wave (LW), medium-wave (MW), and short-wave (SW) frequencies. In addition to providing substantially better audio quality and interference-free reception, the DRM system benefits listeners with new multimedia content such as track title, artist, and station name, which can be displayed on DRM receivers to enhance the listening experience.
Unlike digital radio systems that require a new frequency allocation, DRM just uses more efficiently the existing Amplitude Modulation (AM) broadcast frequency bands (below 30MHz). The DRM signal fits into the AM broadcast-band plan and can be easily carried by many existing AM transmitters, resulting in a simple, inexpensive upgrade to the previous transmission infrastructure.
“Working closely with Kenwood and Fraunhofer IIS, and collaborating with them from the early stages of the project, allows us to provide a complete, fully functional infotainment solution for Digital Radio Mondiale that will excite the radio market in the coming years,” said Riccardo Ferrari, General Manager, Digital Broadcasting Radio Division, Automotive Product Group, STMicroelectronics. “The prototype uses an existing ST chipset and a field programmable gate array (FPGA), so conversion of the prototype into a marketable solution would be straightforward, as the same hardware and software IPs can be easily integrated into a dedicated DRM ASIC.”
Further information on Digital Radio Mondiale is available online.
In 1946, Kenwood Corporation started its business with the production of components for radio equipment. The high-frequency technology became the base to develop FM tuners and amateur wireless radios that were evaluated as the world’s best. Since then, it has expanded its business domains steadily to include the car electronics and home electronics as well as communications equipment.
At present, Kenwood with 11 domestic and 22 overseas subsidiaries around the world is aiming to become a global excellent company in the field of “Mobile & Home Multimedia Systems” with its core competencies in audio and wireless radio communication technologies under the new corporate vision — “Reaching out to discover, inspire and enhance the enjoyment of life.”
In the car electronics field, Kenwood, which has emphasized a consumer business, launched many innovative and sophisticated products such as the world first tuners for satellite digital sound broadcast and terrestrial digital broadcast for consumer use. In this way, Kenwood has built a high brand presence across the world and is rapidly expanding global operations in the OEM business by taking advantage of its advanced technologies, its product planning and development capabilities, its reliability, and its brand presence which are recognized in the consumer market.
About Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Fraunhofer IIS
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the largest organization for applied research in Europe. With 58 Institutes throughout Germany as well as numerous international research centers and liaison offices in Europe, USA and Asia, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has an established reputation for excellence at the front rank of applied research and development. A staff of some 12.500, predominantly qualified scientists and engineers, works with an annual research budget of over one billion euros.
Founded in 1985, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen, today with 470 staff members, ranks first among the Fraunhofer Institutes concerning headcount and revenues. It provides research services on contract basis and technology licensing. In the field of digital radio, Fraunhofer IIS is the leader among the international research labs. It has been the main developer of the most advanced audio coding schemes, like MP3, MPEG-2 AAC and MPEG-4 AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) and made significant contributions to the definition, design and implementation of Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB), WorldSpace Satellite Radio, XM Satellite Radio and Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM).
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2005, the Company’s net revenues were $8.88 billion and net earnings were $266 million.