Maxim has announced the MAX2173 RF to Bits tuner for digital audio broadcast (DAB) applications in automobiles and other mobile DAB/FM products. The industry’s first RF to Bits DAB/FM tuner integrates a radio tuner, analog-to-digital converter (ADC), and digital filtering, and uses a digital I²S output to interface directly to digital signal processors (DSPs). RF to Bits radios will allow the implementation of baseband processing using off-the-shelf DSPs This level of integration eliminates numerous external components associated with traditional RF tuners to reduce cost, BOM count, and space.

By integrating ADCs with digital filtering, the MAX2173 reduces the output data rate and eases the processing load on the back-end DSP. The clear separation between the radio’s front-end and the DSP simplifies system design. The DSP’s processing capacity is freed to support other functions or future upgrades. The new device’s high performance and flexible RF front-end supports DAB, FM, and Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcast (T-DMB) applications in the FM, VHF band-III, and L-band frequency bands.