Tuner platform supports worldwide radio standards

January 05, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Significantly less development time and effort for automotive head unit designers is what Maxim Integrated Products promises to users of its MAX2175 digital tuner solution: Instead of complex rework of the vehicle’s hardware to support worldwide radio standards, updates and changes can simply made through software. The trick is that the device makes it possible to move the tuners out of the head unit to places better suited for RF reception.

A vehicle’s head unit typically must accommodate multiple tuners and receive multiple cables from the antennas. In addition, the received analog signals pick up noise as they travel from the antenna to the head unit of the vehicle. With the MAX2175, baseband processing instead uses single purpose hardware, requiring separate designs to support multiple worldwide radio standards. 

With the remote tuner solution, the RF to Bits tuners are now located in a quieter environment close to the antenna to minimize noise. Meanwhile, the digital outputs of the tuners are serialized using Maxim’s GMSL SerDes onto a single low-cost coax cable. Power for the remote tuner solution is also delivered on this single cable, which reduces complexity and weight; at the same time, it improves radio performance. Plus, the solution eases the burden of heat dissipation in the head unit. In a 4-channel radio, for example, 4W of power can be removed from the head unit. In addition, the MAX2175 allows the baseband processing to be done in software on an automotive System-on-Chip (SoC), such as the Renesas Electronics R-Car H3.  This software defined radio (SDR) approach enables flexible implementations by eliminating the need for a dedicated baseband processor. By simply changing the software, now any worldwide radio standard can be supported using the MAX2175.

The Remote Tuner solution includes the following products:

  • MAX2175 analog/digital hybrid radio receiver with RF to Bits front-end 
  • MAX96708 14-bit GMSL deserializer
  • MAX96711 14-bit GMSL serializer 
  • MAX15027 1A, low-dropout linear regulator
  • MAX20002 36V, 2A, synchronous buck converter.

Evaluation kits are available.

For more information visit: http://bit.ly/MAX2175_Maxim 

View details about Maxim’s remote tuner solution, including a video: http://bit.ly/Remote_Tuner_Solution_Maxim