The development of digital radio in recent years is remarkable, because it continues to gain listeners and can grow against the trend. At the same time, Internet radio primarily enhances the listening experience, without replacing its broadcasting counterpart. That can be seen for consumer, as well as car radios. In both cases, radio functionality will be just one component in the comprehensive infotainment system of the future. The radio receiver becomes an app for receiving broadcast content. This functionality is a software component that runs on modern computing platforms. Thus, it is flexible in using different platforms ranging from Android or any Linux operating system to even embedded systems without a powerful OS. Depending on the target market, the radio system can be configured for low-end audio devices to high-end infotainment systems with large displays, multiple antennas for best reception quality, and hybrid radio solutions that combine digital, analog and internet radio in one device.
For more than 20 years, Fraunhofer IIS is developing software libraries for DAB+ and DRM radio receivers for cars and consumer devices. The software development is following the demands of the automotive industry for high quality and reliable systems. New methods for hybrid radio systems ensure seamless listening experience by automatically switching between the best reception among analog, digital and internet radio. At the same time, the reception quality in the noisy environment of electric vehicles is being improved through advanced algorithms. The software radio architecture gives the highest flexibility for implementing the identical functionality on different hardware platforms to react on shortages in the semiconductor industry.