Low-Power Broadcast FM Radio Transceiver IP

The broadcast FM radio transceiver IP is a fully integrated alignment-free turn-key solution for FM-enabled SoC devices. Its DSP-based silicon proven architecture is optimized for modern CMOS te chnologies and includes dedicated features for interference-free co-existence with on-chip wireless standards like WiMAX/WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular, and GPS. The IP integrates full FM RDS/RBDS receive and transmit functionality, extended by advanced audio processing as well as high-level tuning and RDS features.

In receive mode, the IP features two independent antenna inputs and shows best in class performance with excellent sensitivity for both audio and RDS signals, Hi-Fi quality stereo channel separation, extremely high selectivity and superb sound quality. In transmit mode, the output level of the FM/RDS modulated signal can be adjusted over a wide range up to 123 dBµV independent of the antenna conversion factor. Internal adaptive control algorithms reduce performance variations due to e.g. hand effects to the absolute minimum for consistent ETSI and FCC standard compliance.

The design is the 3rd generation of FM transceiver IPs which have been proven in various CMOS technologies from 180 nm down to 40 nm.


  • Fully integrated DSP-based FM radio transceiver solution in 40 nm CMOS technology
  • Alignment free design (Rx and Tx)
  • Co-existence and co-habitation optimized architecture
  • Low supply voltage (process dependent)
  • Low current consumption
  • Integrated LDOs for enhanced on-chip interferer immunity
  • No external components required
  • State retention during sleep
  • Command-based control handler
  • Support for various industry-standard control interfaces
  • Programmable pre- / de-emphasis (50/75 µs)
  • Worldwide FM band support (70 – 108 MHz, incl. China-band)
  • Selectable tuning grid (50 kHz, 100 kHz, 200 kHz)
  • Fully integrated frequency synthesizer (FLL or PLL)
  • FLL-tuning: operates on low-power reference clock (e.g. 32.768 kHz)
  • Programmable reference clock offset correction
  • PLL-tuning: programmable external system clock
  • Analog and digital audio in- and outputs
  • I2S master and slave mode operation (digital audio out)
  • Dual stereo sample rate conversion with self-locking slave-mode operation (digital audio in/out; independent conversion)
  • Programmable/selectable interrupts enable application specific event signaling
  • Built-in test features (BIST) for lowest production test cost
  • Integrated antenna integrity check
  • Integration of customer-specific features by firmware update
  • Available as hardmacro and/or soft-IP
  • SoC integration ready

Technology Partner


Catena is an international group of innovative companies, experts in system and architectures as well as in the design of Integrated Circuits and independent System IP. Since its establishment in 1986, Catena has been recognized as the partner of choice for global IC makers in designing wireless connectivity and sensor electronics system solutions created by world-class RF, signal processing and system architecture experts.

Catena provides full custom IC developments as well as complete system IP for various applications, enabling its customers fast time-to-market. The developments are mainly one chip solutions including RF, Analog, Mixed Signal, Digital Signal Processing, Embedded Cores, Embedded Software and tooling.

Catena is a 100% NXP-owned strong radio IP & design services resource (140 persons). It has experience with licensing to 3rd parties of “hard” (frontend) and “soft” (digital) radio IPs such as FM RX & TX, ZigBee, GPS RX, WIFI. Catena announced further partnerships with IP house CEVA and foundry Global Foundries.



  • Cenelec compliant receiver
  • Embedded and wire antenna support
  • Single ended wire antenna input optimized for headphone wire
  • Large dynamic range
  • Best-in-class sensitivity
  • Adaptive mismatch compensation for IRR maximization
  • Fast search tuning with excellent search performance
  • True SNR-based search allows to stop on channels below the RSSI search limit
  • Internal channel auto store up to 99 channels (bandscan)
  • Extensive high-level RDS/RBDS features
  • Fast RDS locking time
  • Storage for up to 22 RDS data groups (matched to GSM sleep interval)
  • Inaudible AF-update, AF-switch (incl. AF-jump), and Preset-with-PI-check
  • RDS block detection with interrupt
  • Adaptive IF-filter bandwidth control
  • Fully programmable audio enhancements for rich audio perception of weak signals (softmute, high-cut, extended and sliding stereo)
  • – Digital volume and balance control


  • ETSI and FCC standard compliant transmitter
  • Embedded antenna support incl. automatic antenna tuning
  • Dual RF frequency output signal support
  • High output voltage capability allowing a wide range of embedded antenna solutions
  • Accurate and programmable transmit output voltage control
  • Advanced audio-to-FM modulation control
  • TX deviation control limiter with overmodulation interrupt
  • RDS encoding with internal buffering of 22 RDS groups
  • Programmable audio, pilot and RDS deviation control
  • Overdrive detection of audio ADC
  • Audio pause detection, various RF-link maintenance modes
  • – Fast-scan empty channel detection


  • FM-enabled SoC solutions
  • Multi-standard communication devices
  • Integrated cellular handset devices
  • Connected home entertainment devices
  • GPS/navigation devices