The beleaguered DAB range of digital radio standards received a boost at CES with the launch of new technology that brings the formats to a wide variety of domestic audio systems, writes Kevin Hilton.
Venice 9 was developed by UK integrated circuits designer Frontier Silicon and is a digital radio receiver that can work in slave mode on mini and micro hi-fi, home theatre in a box (HTiB) and iPod docking systems.
Based on the DAB/DAB+/DMB-Radio Kino 3 chip, Venice 9 is designed for all digital radio formats derived from the Eureka 147 standard. These include the established DAB format, DAB+, which is being used in Australia and got the go-ahead in Germany during December, and DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting). It can also accommodate FM and RSD (Radio Data System).
"Digital radio listening is increasing rapidly in many markets driven by consumers wanting to listen to new digital radio-only content and crystal clear audio on their HTiB and hi-fi systems," said Karen Parnell, Frontier Silicon's director of product marketing. "Venice 9 offers a cost-effective way to integrate digital radio into a vast array of home audio products giving brands and ODMs a rapid route to providing their customers with digital radio."
Jane Ostler, communications director at Digital Radio UK, the organisation that promotes digital radio in Britain, comments, "The vast majority of mini/micro hi-fi systems and iPod docks sold today that include a radio have FM. Consequently we welcome the announcement by Frontier Silicon of a new chip that makes it easier and more cost effective to include DAB within mini/micro hi-fi systems and iPod docks."