Siano Announces New Multi-Standard Radio Chip

Siano, known as a leading supplier of mobile broadcast DTV solutions, announced that it is branching into receiver chips for digital radio. The multi-standard SMS2160 is designed for automotive and portable/mobile consumer electronics applications. Siano touts it as “the world's most versatile digital radio IC.” It supports T-DMB, DAB/DAB+, DRM+ and analog FM radio, including RDS/TMC and is targeted at emerging digital radio markets for DAB+ in Europe and DRM+ in Asia and around the globe. HD Radio is not supported.

The chip supports two-way antenna diversity using maximum ratio combining (MRC) for the digital radio formats. The small 3 x 5 mm receiver is capable of supporting reception in VHF Band III (174-216 MHz), VHF Band I (47-88 MHz), VHF Band II (88-108 MHz) and the L1 band.

“We are excited about the prospects of a dedicated DRM+ receiver chip to potentially support India’s massive mobile device market,” said Ruxandra Obreja, DRM consortium chairman and president of the DRM Association. “The nationwide All India Radio (AIR) DRM Rollout Plan will support digital radio broadcasts in 23 languages and 146 dialects, covering 92 percent of the country and reaching 99 percent of the population. Making Siano’s SMS2160 receiver chip available to the national effort open to public and commercial broadcasters will open new horizons for quality mobile broadcasts all over India.”

Alon Ironi, CEO of Siano, commented: “The increased popularity of DRM+ technology translates into winning partnerships for Siano’s mobile digital TV solutions. Already having several customers such as Hirschmann Car Communication and others, we are confident that this new chip will lead the steadily growing DRM+ market.”

Broadcasters in the United States were among the first to offer digital radio services on their existing broadcast spectrum using the HD-Radio standard. As was the case with the U. S. ATSC 8-VSB DTV standard, as technology evolved the rest of the world chose different standards. If DRM+ succeeds in Latin America and Asia, I wonder if it might be considered as a future format for digital radio in the United States. Change isn't easy, but as TV broadcasters are showing with ATSC 3.0, it shouldn't be impossible.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.