Start of a New Generation of Radios: the Remote Tuner Module from Hirschmann Car Communication/TE Connectivity


Start of a New Generation of Radios: the Remote Tuner Module from Hirschmann Car Communication/TE Connectivity  

• Reduces complexity in antenna system architecture 
• Minimises the number of head unit variants

Neckartenzlingen, 4 September 2018 – Hirschmann Car Communication/TE Connectivity presents the next evolutionary step for radio technology in vehicles: the remote tuner module (RTM). The RTM concentrates central radio functions in one place at the rear of the vehicle. This simplifies the architecture of the entire antenna system considerably and minimises the number of head unit (HU) variants for automotive manufacturers. 

The RTM is available in different designs: for example, as an entry-level model for AM/FM or as a high-end remote tuner for AM/FM and DAB. Furthermore, regional variants are in the pipeline. The direct positioning of the RTM close to the vehicle’s antennas improves reception quality, and no antenna amplifiers are required. The RTM is connected to the head unit via a digital A2B interface through which all audio and data flows are exchanged. 

“From the perspective of automotive manufacturers, new communications technologies open up a whole world of complexity. Because what the customer wants has to be continually integrated into the vehicle with new functions. In the last few years, that was a significant driver of the proportion of electronics components and with it the complexity and cost of infotainment systems,” said Thomas Falz, Vice President and General Manager Hirschmann Car Communication/TE Connectivity. “With its extraordinary concept, our remote tuner module is making a contribution to solving this dilemma and to a lasting reduction in system costs.”

Cost savings thanks to new system architecture
Relocating the radio from the head unit to the rear of the vehicle produces a number of benefits (see diagram). The new system architecture reduces the number of coaxial cables and connections and requires fewer antenna amplifiers—or even none at all, which reduces the assembly costs further. Simple APIs ensure additional savings on development costs. 

Simplified handling of variants 
Relocating the radio functions from the head unit to the antenna brings with it even more benefits. If the radio is located in the head unit, this increases the number of HU variants for automotive manufacturers (e.g. DAB in Europe, HD in the USA). Without a radio, variant handling is simplified accordingly, while further traditional HU challenges such as heat, space and electromagnetic radiation can be solved more easily than they could previously. Positioning the RTM close to the antenna reduces the transmission of analogue HF signals inside the vehicle and increases reception quality. 

Technical features of the remote tuner module from Hirschmann Car Communication 
• Radio services supported: AM, FM, DAB, DRM and HD Radio
• A2B digital interface for audio, data and firmware updates
• Up to six separate tuners in the high-end variant, programmable phantom power supply
• Integrated antenna diagnostics