Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) was started as a European research project in the 1980s. The BBC launched their first DAB channel in 1995. As of 2018, over 40 counties run DAB services.
In 1994, we built an on-channel repeater for ‘gap filling’ in the early days of roll-out of the BBC’s DAB broadcast service. Although not hugely successful, it established Roke as an early pioneer of DAB technology.
We then worked with Hitachi and Ensigma to develop a receiver in 1994, and continued working with Hitachi though 1997/8 to develop the first single chip DAB radio frequency front end. This was the industry standard for a while and found its way into a number of early products including pocket DAB radios by Pure and Roberts.
In 2000/2001, we partnered with National Panasonic to develop a complete DAB receiver. Using Hitachi’s HD 155050 radio receiver with Panasonic’s MN 66720 DAB baseband chip, our GoldCARD II was launched as the world’s first hand-held DAB receiver in October 2001.