automatic connections, etc.).
A DSP core processor and
the 16-bit CODEC handle the
decompression and related tasks.
It accommodates MP3, WMA,
RealAudio, and other formats. The
DACs for conversion to analog output
is also on this chip. Note the connections to both 4 Mb of SRAM for
temporary buffer storage of the audio
data as it streams in and a 32 MB
Flash memory for program storage.
Interfaces for the external keyboard and LCD displays are provided.
The audio amps are not shown here
as they are on a separate chip. All the
regular security features (encryption,
etc.) of the 802.11 standard like WEP,
WPA, and WPA2 are supported.
A key feature of the RadioPro
chips is its very low power consumption that really makes it possible
to put Internet radio into portable
battery-operated devices and still
have a long play time. Another feature is the v Tuner portal connection
that lets you browse and search for
over 10,000 radio stations. The chip
set supports the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi
Protected Set Up feature that lets you
set up the radio with two button
clicks: one click on the radio and
another on the access point or router.
The two devices exchange security
keys and the link is established.
CSR also has an association with
NTEEP — a Hong Kong module
maker who builds a complete radio
module with all components,
including the RadioPro chips. A
manufacturer can buy the module
and drop it right into any other
product with no further design.
A unique Wi-Fi Internet radio
design from Cambridge Consultants
is based on the CSR RadioPro chips.
It is called the Iona Cube radio (see
Figure 2). It allows you to select one
of four of your favorite Internet stations by just rotating the cube to one
of its four sides. The other two sides
are for the speaker and the controls.
WHERE IS ALL THIS
You can buy a Wi-Fi Internet
radio today. For example, Best Buy
has one called the Grace Digital
Wireless Radio. Other dealers may
have some as well, and you can
certainly find a source on the web
if you search. Mail order radio
company C. Crane has a Wi-Fi
Internet radio called the Quattro.
( www.ccrane.com) The popular
shortwave radio maker Sangean has
a Wi-Fi radio called the WFR- 20. It
is still early in the product marketing
game, so expect more models to
come. And that’s not all. CSR
predicts that by 2009 about 40%
of MP3 and other music players —
maybe even iPods — will have a
built-in Internet Wi-Fi radio. It is
also expected that as many as 50%
of satellite radios will have a Wi-Fi
Internet radio and as many as 30% of
home hi-fi stereo systems could have
an internal Wi-Fi Internet radio. NV