COMDEX: TI's DSP Radio Chip Powers PersTel DAB Receiver
For the most part, I'm more excited about digital radio coming into play than digital video. When it does come to pass, it will probably include some kind of encryption, but right now, it's fun to think that you could capture songs off the airwaves and burn them onto disc. As evidence that digital audio broadcast is on its way, a low power Eureka digital audio broadcast chip from Texas Instruments is being shown off at Comdex as the engine of tiny portable digital radio, from a company called PersTel. The gadget accepts the transmission of CD-quality sound and data broadcasts over hand-held devices. The device uses TI's TMS320DRE200 digital baseband and analog chipset along with the TMS320C5000 digital signal processor and offers MP3 and DAB digital radio capability, as well as voice recording and FM tuning. PersTel plans to offer the design to consumer electronics manufacturers that are interested in creating DAB digital radios. The design is scheduled to be available in Q1 2002. Along with improved clarity, DAB is supposed to always select the strongest regional transmitter automatically, so that the signal is stronger than analog broadcasts as well as higher quality. Wonder how long it'll be before service is in place? Seems like the last great broadcasting promise, digital TV, is taking its sweet time coming around.