One criticism levelled at DAB receivers is the amount of power they need to perform all that digital decoding. Battery life of a portable DAB radio can be an issue. Although it doesn’t come anywhere near the zero-power requirements of an old time crystal set a new DAB digital radio module called the Verona 2 has been announced at the IFA in Berlin by the company Frontier Silicon. The new module contains a 4th generation Kino 4 chip which halves the amount of power consumed compared to its predecessor Kino 3 chip.
The Verona 2 module is the world’s first digital radio solution based on a chip which integrates RF, baseband, application processor, audio decode and DAC stages on a single piece of silicon. Its power requirements for DAB reception are 80 to 100 mW and just 1 mW in hibernation mode.
The DAB tuning range covers 174 to 240 MHz with a typical receiver sensitivity of ‑97 dBm DAB/DAB+ and the standard FM band 87.5 to 108 MHz with a sensitivity of ‑106 dBm. The Verona 2 module will power all major categories of consumer DAB digital radio devices - in particular, portable radios (with entry level models retailing at under $30), clock radios, docks, home audio systems and radio receivers with Bluetooth connectivity.
Over the next 18 months, Frontier plan to introduce a range of new devices based on the Kino 4 solution – with a particular focus on automotive aftermarket products (especially, automotive DAB tuning adapters).