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Electronics Production | June 17, 2008

WorldSpace partners with STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics has signed an agreement with WorldSpace Satellite Radio to develop, manufacture and distribute chips for European Satellite Digital Radio (ESDR) receivers planned for a WorldSpace pan-European and Middle East service offering, starting with Italy in 2009.
Based on an open ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) standard, the ESDR technology enables WorldSpace to employ a hybrid satellite-terrestrial network, where its satellites deliver broad geographical coverage at low cost, while terrestrial transmitters improve reception quality in urban and suburban areas. The Company intends to launch its European service, beginning with Italy, in 2009, followed shortly thereafter by other major European and Middle East countries including Germany, Switzerland, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

In addition to the channel decoder, ST will provide three additional chips for WorldSpace digital radio receivers: a super-heterodyne RF tuner, a device for non-volatile secure data storage and the automotive version of ST’s Nomadik application processor. This ‘automotive grade’ chipset will handle the complete RF and base-band tasks, meeting the car industry’s stringent requirements for integration into OEM systems as well as after-market radio receivers.

These first ESDR satellite radio receivers will be available through retail stores and other aftermarket venues in the first half of 2009, followed shortly by OEM versions. Fiat Group Automobiles was the first to sign a distribution agreement with WorldSpace for both aftermarket and OEM receivers for certain of its Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia models starting next year.

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