The idea of Internet radio is not exactly new. In the US, for example, Roku has been promoting its Internet radio solutions for a while now. In Europe, BridgeCo and Reciva have been selling their own version of Internet radio. Two UK-based companies--Frontier Silicon and Cambridge Consultants--have now decided to jump into the fray, bringing with them the notions that Internet radio should be affordable and that it should be able to operate without a PC. The solution: WiFi-enabled Internet radio.
Frontier is already in the business of selling chips for digital audio broadcasting (DAB), and its contribution to WiFi-enabled Internet radio is a module equipped with the company's Chorus 2i baseband and Apollo DAB/FM tuner, a third-party WiFi chipset and NAND flash memory. The company offers OEMs a ready-to-use package, allowing these OEMs to design the box and user interface. Cambridge Consultants, which has no experience in DAB/FM, will go to CES with the Iona WiFi portable radio platform. Iona claims that the bill of materials for its two-chip solution is less than $15, including a 112 x 64-pixel black-and-white graphic LCD. If so, this will allow OEMs to build consumer products retailing for around $50 to $60, the company said
"Traditional radios offer listeners the choice of relatively few stations...Internet radio gives listeners access to many thousands, catering for very specific tastes from the mainstream to the exotic," says Duncan Smith, head of consumer products at Cambridge Consultants. "Internet radio also allows you to tune in to your hometown station wherever you happen to be in the world."
For more on WiFi-enabled Internet radio
- see Peter Clarke's Dr. Dobb's portal report