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[Q] FM Radio ?

OP mikereidis

22nd October 2011, 12:48 AM   |  #1  
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There have been some indications the Galaxy Nexus would include an FM radio. Is there any conclusive evidence of FM ?

If Google ships the Nexus with an FM app, that would be a departure from previous practice.

The Nexus One shipped with the HTC Desire FM hardware intact, but no app.

The Nexus S did not have the Silicon Labs Si4709 FM chip that the Galaxy S did, and the Broadcom BCM4329 BT/WiFi/FM combination chip was not wired to allow FM.

This Galaxy Nexus apparently has a Broadcom BCM4330 BT/WiFi/FM combination chip like the Galaxy S2 has. But the S2 uses a dedicated Silicon Labs FM chip like the original "S1".

I doubt the BCM4330 will be wired for FM, so I'd guess there must be a Silicon Labs FM chip if the Galaxy Nexus supports FM.

I doubt Google would have created their own FM app, but who knows ? Would it be incorporated into the music app ? Would they use Samsung's FM app, perhaps modified ? Or have they decided their new music store sales will be improved if they neglect FM ?

And if there is an FM app in Google's Galaxy Nexus, can we presume that the source code will be open ?
Last edited by mikereidis; 22nd October 2011 at 12:54 AM.
23rd October 2011, 02:16 AM   |  #2  
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Kess78 pointed me to Supercurio's doc here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...hl=en_US&pli=1 .

He says : "FM Radio app is not present."

The only other FM reference there is for the Audio Codec:

Quote:

Linux ALSA driver source code and its register definitions, describing basic audio hardware features available.
Main input/output type supported:

* Headphone
* Speaker
* Microphone
* Bluetooth
* Voice
* FM - digital
* SPDIF over HDMI
...

But IMO that doesn't prove anything. First, I don't think he has the exact source code for the kernel on the phone. I've heard the source code is expected to be released in about a month. But maybe I'm wrong, for the kernel code at least.

Second, there are "phantom" FM definitions for a number of Samsung Galaxy devices that don't have the FM chip: The Galaxy Tab, I think the Nexus S and the Galaxy S2 devices with no FM chip, such as AT&T and T-Mobile variants.


So my thinking now is that Google won't be releasing an FM app. Whether or not there's a Silicon Labs FM chip remains to be seen, but I suspect Google went cheap as with the Nexus S and there is no usable FM chip. But I'm just guessing for now.
23rd October 2011, 02:29 AM   |  #3  
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I believe the Samsung Note spec states that it has an FM radio with RDS. It may be that they use similar chipset in the Galaxy Nexus and there is hope for FM Radio down the road sometime.
23rd October 2011, 02:44 AM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htc6500uk

I believe the Samsung Note spec states that it has an FM radio with RDS. It may be that they use similar chipset in the Galaxy Nexus and there is hope for FM Radio down the road sometime.

A lot of Android phones, I'd say most of them, have bluetooth chips that include support for both sending and receiving FM.

The problem is just that Android lacks a framework and API for it. ST-Ericsson submitted a framework and example app for it to AOSP that has been worked on openly in Gerrit for months with input from several Google people. Unfortunately Gerrit is still down so we don't know the latest progress but it will hopefully be officially supported in the future. Until then, we will probably see FM support for it in CM like many other phones currently enjoy.
23rd October 2011, 11:39 PM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htc6500uk

I believe the Samsung Note spec states that it has an FM radio with RDS. It may be that they use similar chipset in the Galaxy Nexus and there is hope for FM Radio down the road sometime.

MAYBE.

But the Galaxy S and Nexus S are almost the same phone. Yet the Galaxy S has the Silicon Labs FM chip, while the Nexus S does not.

The same is true for some variants of the Galaxy S2. The "canonical" Samsung Galaxy S2 has the Silicon Labs FM chip, while the AT&T and T-Mobile variants appear to have omitted it.

IMO, at least 2 reasons: (1) The phone is a bit cheaper if they don't install the FM chip, and (2) Carriers want us to use their expensive data plans for streaming.

I think Google also has some interest in keeping cheap, "old fashioned" airwave radio from us. Same for Apple.
23rd October 2011, 11:48 PM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blunden

A lot of Android phones, I'd say most of them, have bluetooth chips that include support for both sending and receiving FM.

The problem is just that Android lacks a framework and API for it. ST-Ericsson submitted a framework and example app for it to AOSP that has been worked on openly in Gerrit for months with input from several Google people. Unfortunately Gerrit is still down so we don't know the latest progress but it will hopefully be officially supported in the future. Until then, we will probably see FM support for it in CM like many other phones currently enjoy.

I've spent most of this year developing an FM app for various Android devices. See my sig.

My impression is that the ST-Ericsson Android FM API is doomed. Nobody but them has committed to it. Broadcom is the biggest provider of FM combo chips and has said nothing, and continues to keep their specs secret.

Except for some Japan market Sharp models, can you show me ANY Android phone that supports FM transmit ? Stock or with developer mods ? I tried this on my TI based HTC Legend and it won't work. It needs the proper antenna (and perhaps power) connections, and I've found no phone that has that, likely because they were never designed to transmit, and were even designed to prevent transmit.

Even with a theoretically usable Bluetooth/WiFi/ FM combo chip (Broadcom or TI), if the power, antenna and audio connections are not in place, FM receive is impossible. There are several phones in my app incompatible list that never had an FM app, and that I and nobody else has ever been able to FM enable. IMO nobody will ever FM enable these without impractical hardware modifications.
9th November 2011, 11:34 AM   |  #7  
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so this does have an fm radio ! i seen where some say it doesn't and then I seen some that say it does, The unlocked version of the SGS2 has one but the AT&T didn't so this seems too

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Camera - 5MP
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External Memory - No
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GPRS Yes
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9th November 2011, 12:39 PM   |  #8  
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The specs you have listed are from GSMArena and "may" be wrong. The two people afaik who have the GN have said that there is no native FM radio app. At present we dont even know if the FM chip is even correctly wired inside to receive signals. If it is, then CM7 (or 8) will be able to support it.
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9th November 2011, 04:34 PM   |  #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikereidis

I've spent most of this year developing an FM app for various Android devices. See my sig.

My impression is that the ST-Ericsson Android FM API is doomed. Nobody but them has committed to it. Broadcom is the biggest provider of FM combo chips and has said nothing, and continues to keep their specs secret.

Except for some Japan market Sharp models, can you show me ANY Android phone that supports FM transmit ? Stock or with developer mods ? I tried this on my TI based HTC Legend and it won't work. It needs the proper antenna (and perhaps power) connections, and I've found no phone that has that, likely because they were never designed to transmit, and were even designed to prevent transmit.

Even with a theoretically usable Bluetooth/WiFi/ FM combo chip (Broadcom or TI), if the power, antenna and audio connections are not in place, FM receive is impossible. There are several phones in my app incompatible list that never had an FM app, and that I and nobody else has ever been able to FM enable. IMO nobody will ever FM enable these without impractical hardware modifications.

I think the API has potential still. A reason for not seeing any commits from other manufacturers for it is that it's still not finished and polished enough to be approved by Google. If it is, I think that we will see some more action by the other manufacturers. Also, in theory the Broadcom plugin could be developed by the community since it seems one of the MIUI guys have access to confidential information about commands etc. The basic functionality could probably be implemented by information from what is currently used in MIUI and CM.

I have not seen a phone that supports FM transmit, no. That would just be a bonus though. Why do you say they are specifically designed not to transmit FM? FM transmitting with limited power (to allow close range music transfer) is legal now in many countries. Also, I know for a fact that receiving works fine in many phones in CM so at least that functionality should be possible.
10th November 2011, 12:48 PM   |  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blunden

I think the API has potential still. A reason for not seeing any commits from other manufacturers for it is that it's still not finished and polished enough to be approved by Google. If it is, I think that we will see some more action by the other manufacturers.

I went searching for this API last night. I couldn't find ANY sign of it except for the original posts and documentation from a year or so ago. Where is this Gerrit code ? Or any evidence of recent activity ?

AFAICT, Google has nothing to do with the SE FM API. Do you have any evidence otherwise ? NONE of the chip manufacturers has said ANYTHING about it either, AFAIK.


Quote:
Originally Posted by blunden

Also, in theory the Broadcom plugin could be developed by the community since it seems one of the MIUI guys have access to confidential information about commands etc. The basic functionality could probably be implemented by information from what is currently used in MIUI and CM.

In theory ? Probably ? I really don't want to sound harsh, but I will speculate that you are just speculating about these things. And I think you are being too hopeful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by blunden

Why do you say they are specifically designed not to transmit FM? FM transmitting with limited power (to allow close range music transfer) is legal now in many countries.

Yes, sure it's legal, with the proper FCC or whatever certifications. Those cost money, as does the engineering. The chip connections are specifically made to disable transmit. Thus, no software can enable FM transmit.


I'd be happy to learn I am wrong about any of the above. But until I see evidence, these are my current opinions based on my knowledge and experience.

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