Frontier Silicon announces full support for the Hong Kong digital radio market

Frontier Silicon, a supplier of digital radio and connected audio technology, announced on Friday the addition of a Chinese User Interface (UI) option to its range of digital radio platforms. This coincides with the launch of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB+) services in Hong Kong this November.


When the broadcasting of 18 channels in digital technology begins this November, Hong Kong will join the newly launched DAB+ service in Germany and the already established markets for digital radio in the UK, Switzerland, Australia, Denmark, Norway and Singapore.


The public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), along with three new licensees; Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited, Phoenix U Radio Limited and Digital Broadcasting Corporation Hong Kong Limited have in total, pledged an investment of nearly HK$1 billion for the first six years of operation. They will provide 24-hour DAB+ services, offering the radio audience in Hong Kong entertainment and information programs in multiple languages.


The topography of Hong Kong makes FM broadcasting a challenge, which has limited the number of radio programmes available to consumers. The choice of DAB+ allows broadcasters to provide a broad range of new services with good quality reception within a limited radio spectrum.


The newly released localised solution from Frontier implements a character set consisting of 16,000 unique Chinese characters. The UI allows end-users to navigate through station names, radio menus, and view DLS messages in the Chinese language, ensuring that digital radio is accessible to all consumers in the SAR. 


“We are delighted that Frontier Silicon, the company that has shipped more than 13 million DAB/DAB+ solutions, has evolved their technology with the addition of the Chinese character set,” said Simon Heung from DBC. “With Frontier providing the Venus2i-C then we broadcasters can be sure that listeners to Hong Kong’s exciting new digital radio services will be able to enjoy them through highly dependable radios.“


Initially the Venus 2i-C platform with the Chinese UI is implemented using Frontier Silicon’s Verona digital radio module using a 128 x 32 pixel display with icons and running the latest DAB 4.3 software SDK. The entire 16,000 character set is stored in the on-board memory of the module which dispenses with the requirement to have a fixed and inflexible LCD driver containing a specific subset of the character set. This software is also applicable to any current DAB/DAB+ chipset or module from Frontier.


Frontier Silicon is a supplier of integrated circuits and modules for digital audio receiver products and mobile digital TV. Customers include Bose, JVC, PURE and Sony,


The Digital Broadcasting Corporation Hong Kong Limited (DBC) is Hong Kong’s first premier digital radio broadcaster, founded in October 2010.