14 gennaio 2010

CES 2010: silicio e software per car SDR - 2

Diversamente da quello che abbiamo visto con il single-on-chip Microtune, quella proposta da EtherWaves si chiama ClearSignal ed è una intera suite di algoritmi mirati allo sviluppo di ricevitori car radio SDR multistandard. Basata a Herzliya in Israele, EtherWaves fornisce solo il pezzo software di un concept più esteso che utilizza per la parte RF il tuner/downconverter Maxim (in particolare i MAX2170, -1 e 2172) e per l'elaborazione il chip Analog Devices Blackfin.
EtherWaves sostiene di essere in grado di supportare con i suoi algoritmi la decodifica di sistemi DAB/DMB, DRM e HD-Radio. Ricordo ancora che questo è soltanto il primo fondamentale passo della catena di valore che porta poi di fatto alla disponibilità di ricevitori sul mercato.
EtherWaves Unveils New Innovative In-Car Multi-Standard Dual-Tuner Digital Radio Solution

NewswireToday - Las Vegas, NV, United States, 01/08/2010 - New DAB, DAB+, T-DMB and DRM version ensures long-term cost-performance for car manufacturers.

EtherWaves, the industry leader for Digital Radio Intellectual Property (IP) for cars, announced today the availability of a new and exciting multi-standard solution for Digital Radio. Using the new Maxim direct-conversion to low-IF family of tuners and executing on Analog Devices’ BlackFin fixed-point flexible DSPs, the solution can attain a new level of performance and a significantly lower footprint than achievable before. The new ClearSignal solution includes support for dual DAB, DAB+, T-DMB and DRM, audio and data – both in single-tuner and dual-tuner options, as well as high performance FM synchronization.
From the listener’s perspective, the capability of the dual-tuner high-performance software to smoothly switch between the different broadcasting systems when driving in multi-system regions, such as in Europe, or of simultaneous reception of two services, offers the feeling and the user experience that a listener deserves from a high-performance entertainment system.
Using its stable and mature ClearSignal SDR (Software Defined Radio) based software, the new version also improves the long-term cost-performance for car manufacturers by reducing logistics complexity, while at same time simplifying and reducing the cost of the development for the Tier-1 automotive. As new digital radio formats continue to emerge, the flexibility of the SDR architecture proves to be the optimal solution for car manufactures, as it its flexibility to changes, upgrades and updates brings it to be inherently future standard proof. The capability to execute over off-the-shelf general purpose low-cost ICs enables ClearSignal to overcome the car manufacturers’ concern of choosing a dedicated IC arguably fated to obsolesce immediately after their design.
“This focused new solution further advances EtherWaves’ goal of bringing the ultimate in-car experience to digital radio listeners”, said Marius Gafen, Vice President of Product Marketing at EtherWaves. ”With this exciting product line-up, EtherWaves is once again redefining the digital radio automotive industry.”
The new EtherWaves SDR based solution arrives in time for the car manufacturers to respond to the new Digital Radio expected boost in the UK, Germany and France.

About ClearSignal
ClearSignal is a comprehensive software package, fully documented and accompanied by training, support, ATP and test materials. Previous versions of ClearSignal have been used by Tier 1 automotive infotainment makers and deployed in high-end German automotive cars.
The main ClearSignal features are:

• Complete functionality for receiving and decoding Dual DAB / DAB+ / DMB / DMB SLS / DAB DATA / DRM / MP4 broadcasting
• High scalability, offering a choice of:
- Simultaneous Decoding of Audio and Data services
- Dual-tuner, capable of decoding simultaneously two similar or different systems, for example DAB+ and DRM (or DMB), or decoding audio from one DAB audio service while decoding TPEG(2) on a DAB data service
- Decoding DRM with background DAB
• Seamless reception
- When travelling between regions with different Digital Radio standards
- When switching between different standards - FM Synchronization.

Unlike dedicated ASICs, which are usually a collection of building blocks in need of an application for turning them into a receiver, ClearSignal is a complete functional solution. It can become immediately operational, after an easy optimization to the customers’ platform. Designed to be quickly and efficiently integrated into an existing HU or into a new design, the innovative ClearSignal makes maximum use of the existing hardware resources (DSP and memory), for fast and cost-effective development cycles, and can be used on either a single BlackFin or in a multiple-chip configuration.

About EtherWaves
EtherWaves Ltd (etherwaves.com) develops and licenses Digital Radio Intellectual Property (IP), targeting mainly the automotive market. EtherWaves uses its core competencies and expertise to develop Digital Broadcast Receiver solutions based on Software Defined Radio. The company’s ClearSignal technology enables high-quality, multi-standard Digital Broadcast reception. EtherWaves is a privately held company with headquarters in Israel.


Case Study – OEM Manufacturer of Infotainment Devices


* The Customer A global tier one manufacturer of infotainment devices, mainly Head Units for the Automotive market. The customer's uncompromising quest for quality and perfection has earned it a well-deserved reputation for top-value products and brought them numerous international awards at major competitions all over the globe.

* The Challenge: Flexible design for easy adaptation to future developments in the dynamic Digital Radio scene (the introduction of DAB+ is such an example), given the automotive design cycle and other automotive related constrains. The optimal solution would use the existing customer's DSP infrastructure to enable fast, low-risk development, and enable the use of the same existing low-cost general-purpose single DSP chip for both the Digital Radio and the customer's applications to enable a cost-efficient end product.

* The Solution: EtherWaves' ClearSignal Digital Radio solution was selected for integration into the customer's Head Unit. The optimal use of the existing customer's hardware infrastructure and resources (DSP and memory), as well as and performance were a perfect fit for the customer. EtherWaves' reputation as a leader in Digital Radio solutions for the automotive market also helped to influence the decision, and combined to the company's flexibility in adapting its solution to the customer's requirements it became a deciding factor.

The Process in a nutshell

* The project start - a 2-days planning session phase by a Customer–EtherWaves joint team, dedicated to:
* Analysing and designing the specifications
* Working with and assisting the Customer in end-product hardware design
* Establishing milestone schedules
* Defining the work breakdown structure

* Phase1: EtherWaves prepared the API Interface & protocol design
* In parallel, the Customers prepared 3 hardware platforms, to be used by EtherWaves during the development

* Phase 2: EtherWaves developed the Alpha version
* Provides basic functionality
* Includes special software for Customer (i.e. hardware drivers)
* Includes customization of ClearSignal on the hardware platform samples

* Phase 3: EtherWaves completed the Beta version
* Provides full functionality

* Phase 4: Customer prepared the final hardware
* Sent 3 boards to EtherWaves

* Phase 5: EtherWaves performed Integration on the final hardware
* Product documentation sent to the Customer
* Testing documentation and samples sent to the Customer
* EtherWaves performed the Lab testing

* Phase 6: Final Integration and field testing
* On Customer’s premises
* Assisted by EtherWaves engineers

* Phase 7: EtherWaves continued to provide support to the Customer
* Bug fixes
* Software upgrades for adapting to standards changes and enhancements

The Result

The customer incorporated ClearSignal Digital Radio into their car Head Unit. This has helped the customer to design and build a modern, high quality infotainment system.

Download Product datasheet

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