Milestone-Proposal:Integrated Circuits for Satellite Digital Radio, 1996-1997

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Docket #:2024-06

This proposal has been submitted for review.

To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? No

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an IEEE Milestone? Yes

Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:


Title of the proposed milestone:

Integrated Circuits for Satellite Digital Radio, 1996-1997

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

On 1996 STMicroelectronics devised three integrated circuits essential for satellite digital radio reception. Frequency demodulation, baseband processing and compressed audio decoding were engineered and implemented into, respectively, STA001, STA002 and STA003 within a low power cost, effective envelope. In 1997 they were fully functional and enabled the receiver’s mass production. Worldspace and Sirius XM Radio services adopted them and provided inexpensive educational and entertainment services in Africa, India, and USA.

200-250 word abstract describing the significance of the technical achievement being proposed, the person(s) involved, historical context, humanitarian and social impact, as well as any possible controversies the advocate might need to review.

In the 90s, the UN, for humanitarian purposes, called for the establishment of radio services to spread education to people in less developed countries. No integrated circuits were available and, therefore, no digital receivers could be made for digital radio content services to address the UN recommendations. Telecom infrastructures did not exist; they were lacking powerful transmission means at continental level (Africa, India). Terrestrial transmissions (with medium/long waves) were possible to receive only at night, being very low reliable and not suitable for systematically planned student education. To solve this problem, the most viable solution to address UN call was to start satellite digital audio transmission which needed significant investments. However, without digital radio satellite receivers’ embodying integrated circuits technologies these investments, even if affordable, would be wasted then. To help that, in 1996 STMicroelectronics, thanks to years of background research and fabrication of test chips, devised three integrated circuits which were essential for satellite digital radio reception. These were instrumental to achieve frequency demodulation, baseband processing and compressed audio decoding. In 1997 they were fully functional and when put together achieved the radio receiver’s mass production by OEMs. Worldspace and Sirius XM Radio services adopted these and provided educational services in Africa, India, and then in USA. Today they are still in production and still used to listening to radio services in the whole USA.

IEEE technical societies and technical councils within whose fields of interest the Milestone proposal resides.

Circuits and System Society

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

Italy, France

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: France
Senior Officer Name: René GARELLO

Unit: Italy
Senior Officer Name: Gianfranco Chicco

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: France
Senior Officer Name: René GARELLO

Unit: Italy
Senior Officer Name: Gianfranco Chicco

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: France
IEEE Section Chair name: René GARELLO

IEEE Section: Italy
IEEE Section Chair name: Gianfranco Chicco

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Danilo Pau
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates in decimal form of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

1. Agrate Brianza, Italy

       a.	Via Paracelso, 20, 20864 Agrate Brianza MB 
       b.	45.57148857901023, 9.33684129669994

2. Cornaredo, Italy

       a.	Via Tolomeo, 1, 20007 Cornaredo MI 
       b.	45.47080481055753, 9.034131854366555

3. Catania, Italy

       a.     Str. Primosole, 50, 95121 Catania CT 
       b.     37.43943860142928, 15.064858626938769

4. Grenoble, France

       a.	12 Rue Jules Horowitz, 38019 Grenoble 
       b.	45.20457588270428, 5.694331858059045

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need. At the Agrate site, the ST System Research group devised the system architecture thus defining functionalities and the specifications assigned to the three-chip subject of the proposed milestone.

At the Catania site, STA001 chip was conceived and designed.

At the Cornaredo site, STA002 chip was conceived and designed.

At the Grenoble site, STA003 chip was conceived and designed.

These four sites at the most important and historic for ST.

The Grenoble site hosts the Milestone placque:

                 MPEG Multimedia Integrated Circuits, 1984-1993

The Agrate and Cornaredo site host the Milestone placques:

                  Multiple Technologies on a Chip, 1985 

Are the original buildings extant?

Yes, active and hosting design and manufacturing of chips.

Details of the plaque mounting:

Plaques will be installed.

a) In Grenoble the same place as the milestone since the existing structure can host a second one

b) In Agrate and Cornaredo sites the same, as the milestone,_1985

c) In Catania site, it will be installed in front of the main entrance, see next figure, like it was for Agrate and Cornaredo Media:stcatania.jpg

In all cases in a public place in front of the main entrance fully surveilled by ST guards 24/7 The ST employees, visitors and customers will visit it as in a public place, right outside the site restricted perimeter.

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

It is surveilled by company security human resources and with surveillance cameras, 24h/7d/52w full time in a year.

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

Italy: STMicroelectronics Srl

France: STMicroelectronics (Grenoble 2) SAS

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)? If personal names are included in citation, include justification here. (see section 6 of Milestone Guidelines)

1) Object of the milestone proposal

To support satellite signal demodulation and information decoding at research level, since early-90s several functionalities within integrated circuits were devised and designed by ST. At that time, the UN was eager, for humanitarian purposes, to see the establishment of radio services to help education spread to poor people living in low developed, remote, and 3rd world countries. Since no integrated circuits were commercially available and, consequently, no digital receivers existed, then no digital radio content services could be started to address the UN recommendations. Telecom infrastructures did not exist, or they were lacking powerful transmission means at continental level (such in Africa and India). Far and remote terrestrial transmissions (with medium/long waves) were possible to be received only during the night, being very low reliable and not suitable for affordable reliable student education during daylight. To this problem, the most viable solution to address UN request was to start satellite digital audio transmission of educational services with enormous investments. However, without digital radio satellite receivers’ embodying suitable integrated circuits technologies these investments, even, if possible, would be wasted. Thanks to earlier investments in research and development by STMicroelectronics, fundamental circuital building blocks were conceived and implemented on different CMOS, RF (radiofrequency) and bipolar in-house mastered silicon technologies. Consequently, to support above needs, ST integrated them into dedicated circuits optimized in silicon area and power consumption. Moreover, they were conceived to be produced in high volume, with high yields and reliable to achieve lowest production costs, essential to be affordable in poor countries. That was fundamental for their widespread adoption into consumer radio satellite systems and instrumental to start the satellite radio services. Thanks to the several and instrumental innovations ST developed since 1994, these circuits enabled and accelerated the introduction of satellite radio services named Worldspace and XMradio radio. Therefore, ST circuits practically enabled for the first time educational and entertainment information reception to students of satellite broadcast services (and later also to car and truck drivers) across continents and eased switch-off from analog to digital radio in the mid-90s.

The objects of the present IEEE milestone nomination are the integrated circuits named STA001, STA002 and STA003 included into the citation presented above.

2) Technical innovations introduced by the milestone

2.1) The significant innovation leaps were:

                 1)	Satellite radio was a cornerstone in the evolution of information broadcast and to happen it required the combined availability of cmos, bipolar and bicimos silicon manufacturing technology mastered by ST fundamental to address the challenge to keep low the power consumption costs in the receivers. This innovation is different from,_1985 because the latter required power DMOS transistors integration which were not capable to keep low the power consumption costs. In that respect only by using bicmos ST technology it was possible to guarantee at the same time performances, minimal power consumption by portable and form factor optimized receivers which shall be adopted into poor under-developed countries. 
                 2)	Complete end to end receiver architecture to make happen satellite radio service reception in any place on the earth thus making obsolete terrestrial analogue radio transmissions.
                 3)	ST has created components suitable for ensuring functionality, through the best possible use of the radio band, be a reality thanks to the entire combination of the signal processing chain from radio frequency to channel decoding and compensation and source decoding, allowing the deployment of satellite radio services even on moving receivers. That is, no more need for directional antennas (dishes)
                 4)	Numerous patents witness the innovations brought by these circuits.
                 5)	The integrated circuits were ready in 1997 for the first satellite radio receiver to be assembled enabling experimentation of services which occurred in Africa and the Middle East later in 1999.
                 6)	One of the three integrated solutions made obsolete cumbersome discrete components solutions for radio frequency receptions.
                 7)	One of the three integrated solutions made demodulation error free with minimized complexity and was conceived in 1994.
                 8)	Software based audio MP3 compressed content decoding using low power ANSI C programmable digital processors. This is completely different from the milestone   because the latter was focused only on image processing decoding which requires completely different integrated circuits and solution addressing moving pictures.

The three integrated circuits into the milestone proposed citation are:

2.2) STA001

                 a)	one chip solution for Satellite Radio RF frontend, on 1996 as opposite to RF electronic solutions implemented by discrete components.
                 b)	It integrated 2 different PLLs (phase-locked loops) inside the same chip, having functions of local oscillators generation for 1st (RF) and 2nd (IF) frequency conversions. A big challenge solved by STA001 was the simultaneous run of the 2 PLLs without interfering with each other and coexisting with a very high gain (120dB) signal chain.
                 c)	The chip integrated in a single die critical RF component, like inductors and varicaps for Voltage Controlled Oscillator resonators.

2.3) STA002

                 a)	First low power single chip for satellite radio channel decoding embedding 6-bit A/D conversion, digital AGCs (automatic gain control), digital carrier and timing recovery
                 b)	Full VHDL (very high-level description language) design
                 c)	Complete baseband decoding from I/F to mp3 service extraction.
                 d)	Embedded decryption logic for conditional access management

2.4) STA003

                 a)	First MP3 decoder single chip 
                 b)	Full VHDL design
                 c)	Very Large Instruction Word DSP (digital signal processor) computing architecture
                 d)	24 bits DSP suitable for audio signal processing
                 e)	Very efficient C compiler to allow fully programming in C language w/o assembly of the applications, for unprecedented productivity.
                 f)	Cycle accurate simulator for the DSP, to predict performances and to write application ahead of time the chips were fabricated.
                 g)	Fractional PLL
                 h)	Patch RAM (random access memory) allows to bypass some part of the ROM (read only memory) code for decoding some specific bitstream encoded with non-standard-compliant MP3 encoder (at transmission time).

2.5) Competition

A competing development associated to the Worldspace service was by ITT , however the integration and the flexibility, i.e., the programmability, of STA’s chipset was by far superior. ITT made the choice to develop a conservative discrete RF module, thus taking advantage of a shorter development time and not the innovation: it was a discrete tuner module with several components, using existing discrete electronics. Instead, ST privileged innovation by developing a new design RF monolithic ICs. To shorten development time, ST devised and produced multiple versions of the monolithic RF IC, the STA001 (see reference “STA001 mutichip.pdf”), with specific architecture variants, and choose the best one to be adopted in the receiver; this was the winning strategy in terms of overall timeframe and innovation against ITT. For Sirius SDARS service, ST released a chipset even more integrated and better performing than the chipset from Agere ; indeed, after the 1st generation, Sirius decided to close the partnership with Agere and concentrated on ST for all the next generations. That was a proof of the innovation, speed to production of ST against competition.

2.6) Innovation beyond trivial integration of functionalities

2.6.1) About STA001 the choice of using a High-Speed Bipolar silicon process, owned by ST, implementing Trench Isolation was fundamental in achieving high overall performances with several blocks working at the same time and sharing the same silicon and substrate. Parts that could be considered as aggressors for interaction with signal path (PLLs, Digital, programming interface) especially at maximum signal gain situations were so properly isolated preserving the overall signal and noise performances.

2.6.2) About STA002, new intellectual properties were devised:

                 a.	QPSK demodulator
                 b.	Forward Error Correction
                 c.	Viterbi & Reed-Solomon 
                 d.	High speed optimal decoders converging with minimal number of arithmetic operations, low latency when performing channel hop.
                 e.	TDM demultiplexer 
                 f.	Broadcast Channel demultiplexer 
                 g.	Service Component demultiplexer

were specifically conceived, designed ahead of time since 1993. ST in house knowledge on signal processing such as Nyquist filter, carrier loop and timing recovery was fundamental to support such building block conception. In October 1993, ST started on its own to work on satellite spec, and designed the FEC Reed-Solomon decoder which was the smallest in the world: 30% smaller than competition including de-interleaver, and Viterbi decoder. Then ST added the filters, carrier and timing loops and produced the first sample STV0195 in sept 1995. The associated patents were:

                 1)	US5861773 Circuit for detecting the locked condition of PSK or QAM, 1995 Media:US5861773.pdf 
                 2)	US5818854A Reed-Solomon decoder, 1994 Media:US5818854.pdf 
                 3)	US5703526A Circuit for detecting the locked condition of PSK or QAM demodulators, 1995. Media:US5703526.pdf 
                 4)	US5802115 Convolution decoder using the Viterbi algorithm, 1995. Media:US5802115.pdf 
                 5)	US5737343 Circuit for localizing errors in Reed-Solomon decoders, 1994 Media:US5737343.pdf 
                 6)	US5612910 Circuit for inverting elements of a finite field, 1994 Media:US5612910.pdf 

and capitalized too into the Satellite digital radio received later; similar IPs were developed for SDARS chipsets. The STA002 was an essential component of the 1st low power commercial satellite radio receiver.

2.6.3) About STA003 a fundamental building block was the MMDSP (multimedia digital signal processor) for audio decoding. The development started since 1991 and capitalized into STi4500 (the ST MPEG audio Decoder), and then included in all ST MPEG SoC produced through the years. MMDSP was a dedicated ST fully inhouse conceived Very Large Instruction Set (VLIW) computing processor when existing DSP were single and limited instruction set fully assembly programmed. The MMDSP has been developed since 1994 several years before the satellite digital radio needed it and with the goal to decode the AC3 (DOLBY DIGITAL standard) used in DVD players: the MMDSP was then integrated into STi4600 (Dolby Digital/MPEG2 Audio decoder), STi5500 & STi5505 (Audio/Video Set top box and DVD back-end processor) one of the ST blockbusters dedicated to Digital TV. The MMDSP hardware, the associated tools (cycle accurate simulator, C compiler, real time Debugger) and the software were fully conceived and developed in ST. The architecture of the MMDSP was the same as the one used for the first DVD decoder. For the STA003 ST has optimized the design in term of area and power limiting the functionalities to only the MP3 decoding and limiting the pin numbers removing all what was not required by the satellite digital radio receivers (such as for the Worldspace system, e.g.), by optimizing the ROM using a fixed-point implementation at 24 bits enough for accurate MP3 software decoding. The VLIW architecture was not common for existing DSP. ST architecture had a 64 bits instruction and was a 16/24 bits fixed point arithmetic. Existing 16 bits DSPs, from competition, were consuming more energy as they needed double precision arithmetic to get the accuracy required by the new application targeted (DIGITAL TV, DVD). 32 bits competing processing architectures were requiring more area and consuming more energy. Instead, ST solution featured only 24 bits as it was the bit-depth for the MMDSP that match perfectly with the required application accuracy. At that time, competing DSPs featured critical loops written in assembly. C compilers, by competitors, were not mature enough to be used to program those DSP architectures: therefore, assembly programming was widespread. In general, for competing DSPs the computing architectures were defined first and then the compiler was developed consequently after the integrated circuit was fabricated. Instead, ST innovated the methodology by conceiving the hardware and the compiler at the same time ahead of fabrication and engineered the hardware as the same time of the compiler to let them wok in harmony. By this way ST has been able to manufacture a DSP that was programmed exclusively in ANSI C with no need for assembly, thus leading to unprecedented software productivity and reduced development time reducing the number of human resources into the application than the competition by orders of magnitude. That speed-up dramatically digital radio received testing on the field and production.   3) Benefits of the innovative solutions subject of the milestone

3.1) STA001

                 a)	It was implemented in one chip solution for Satellite Radio RF frontend, without needing other chips or external components.
                 b)	performed low noise, low phase noise and high signal dynamic (IIP3) operations. 
                 c)	It was implemented in ST High Speed Bipolar process, meaning very cheap implementation using low number of lithographic masks.
                 d)	STA001 application size was very small, with package size TQFP44 10x10.

3.2) STA002

a) Maximum flexibility and easy device programmability via standard I2C serial bus control interface

b) Fully programmable building blocks such as:

       i.	Satellite QPSK demodulator
       ii.	Time Division demultiplexer
       iii.	Forward Error Correction
       iv.	Broadcast Channel demultiplexer
       v.	Service Component extraction

3.3) STA003

                 a)	Maximum flexibility and easy device programmability via standard I2C serial bus control interface
                 b)	Maximum flexibility for generating oversampling DAC clock fusing fractional PLL.
                 c)	Maximum flexibility for input bitstream using serial input interface.

4) Technical achievements of the proposed milestone

4.1) STA001

                 a)	feasibility of the single chip solution for Satellite Radio RF frontend, with all functions and features on the same die.
                 b)	coexistence in a single chip of multiple synthesizers without interfering with each other’s and with a very high gain chain (120dB).
                 c)	low phase noise operations were viable in a system built up with super integrated resonators, achieving high quality factor on same silicon die.

4.2) STA002

                 a)	Full VHDL design flow ensuring exhaustive system level simulation and fast design execution.
                 b)	Low power performance makes it suitable for battery operated receivers.
                 c)	Small board footprint thanks to the compact 10x10mm TQFP 44 pin package

4.3) STA003

                 a)	Full VHDL design flow ensuring exhaustive system level simulation and fast design execution.
                 b)	Fully programmed in C allowing fast development and ROM code program fully validated through C cycle accurate simulator before receiving the first samples.
                 c)	Ultra Low power performances making STA003 suitable for battery operated receivers.
                 d)	Small board footprint thanks to the compact 10x10mm TQFP 44 pin package

5) Historical background

5.1) Major societal needs

United Nation led by Kofi Annan required technology providers to make happen the broadcast of educational services to students and to diffuse teaching tutorials to prevent HIV transmission in third world poor countries (Africa, India). In most of those countries the terrestrial infrastructure to broadcast radio services efficiently and reliably did not exist. It was deemed less expensive to launch a geostationary satellite to broadcast the educational channels rather than to build a terrestrial communication infrastructure.

5.2) Worldspace company

The Worldspace company responded to the UN call and set, being the first, a plan to provide a variety of high-quality educational audio services to students in underdeveloped countries at worldwide level and existing in 90s in rural areas in Africa and Asia. That needed low-cost portable satellite radios. Worldspace’s plan foresees exclusive rights to the world globally allocated spectrum for digital satellite radio. Broadcast footprint was covering countries including India, China, Africa, Middle East, and most of Western Europe. The target population was five billion people and more than 300 million automobiles. Worldspace launched two satellites while a third satellite was launched later to cover America and set ground up and down link transmission dish infrastructure. By working with Alcatel, it developed a satellite system to support these radio transmissions on geostationary orbits around the earth. Unfortunately, the plan lacked radio receiver chips-based technology, making it impossible to start the educational services broadcast because no solution was ready to receive them and render the audio to the student audience. Thanks to the research and development experience accumulated by ST in the years before and its silicon (CMOS, RF, Bipolar) in house enabling technologies, a cooperation framework was set in which ST capitalized its background developments into 3 chips (STA001, STA002, STA003) to build the receiver system architecture and enable the reception of the Worldspace service.

This leveraged the skills of:
       i)	ST Agrate site on digital multimedia receiver system architectures. 
       j)	ST Cornaredo site on radio base band processing. 
      k)	ST Catania site on satellite signal demodulation. 
      l)	ST Grenoble site on DSP VLIW for efficient audio MP3 decoding. 

Dr. Joseph Campanella was the chief technical officer of the project at World space. Noah A. Samara Chairman & CEO of Worldspace. ST cooperated with these people and Worldspace got the support of UN to provide the education services required. ST started to conceive the 3 chips in 1996. They were completed in 1997, and fully functional chips were achieved in just one year and ahead of competition. ST was essential to allow Worldspace plan execution to build the satellite radio receivers by companies such as JVC, Sanyo, Hitachi, and Panasonic. Worldspace worked with Alcatel Space and Fraunhofer Institute (FhG) too. Satellites were designed by Matra Marconi Space and Alcatel Space and launched by Ariane vector. Worldspace broadcasting services started in Africa on October 1st, 1999.   5.3) Fraunhofer FHG

FHG invented the MP3 audio compression algorithm later standardized by ISO/IEC SC29/WG11 and known as MPEG Layer 3. It was adopted as an audio compression scheme by Worldspace service. At that time MP3 was never yet used in products as only MPEG Layer1 and Layer 2 have been used for digital TV and DVD applications. Therefore, Worldspace was the first service adopting MP3 and no viable decoders other than STA003 were yet available for adoption. MP3 was capable of data rate reduction of raw audio transmission. This audio encoder technology was meant to reduce the upload data rate of the Worldspace audio signal.

5.4) XM Radio, SIRIUS satellite and terrestrial systems

In the USA in the late 90’s, there were not any broadcasting station covering all the USA territory. When traveling around the US by car or by truck, it was not possible to be attached to the same radio service during the trip and after 60 miles the emitters were lost. This led to the creation of XM radio company that had the goal to cover all the USA with a mobile satellite radio by launching 2 geostationary satellites over the US: one over the east coast and the other over the west coast. SDARS (Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service) was a digital radio program service in the 2.3 GHz S band operated by Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio in the United States. In April 1997, the FCC granted Sirius and XM two SDARS licenses for the use of a portion of the S-band spectrum for the transmission of satellite radio signals. In July 2008 Sirius and XM officially merged as Sirius XM Radio. Thanks to the maturity of the STA001/2/3 chipset for Worldspace services, ST was chosen by XM as the exclusive supplier of the radio chipset, while Agere chips were awarded by Sirius and later dismissed in favor of ST ones. STA001, STA002, STA003 chips were widely utilized in the design of the XM chipset. XM Radio has been a great commercial success for many past years till to date. ST was able to outpace the competition in the market and XM was able to launch the service in September 2001, while Sirius launched its radio service some months later in February 2002. XM organized a big show in Atlanta, USA, for the inauguration of the service. Unfortunately, the chosen date was Sept 12th, 2001, and due to the catastrophic event on 11th September nobody could travel to the show and the start of the service was delayed. On Wikipedia it is written "On November 12, 2001, XM Satellite Radio officially launched its nationwide service". Today, Sirius XM has approximately 34 million subscribers and is still a significant commercial success after more than 20 years of services in the field.

5.5) STMicroelectronics role

STMicroelectronics set on early 90s the Advanced System Technology (AST) organization in charge to develop long term innovative system silicon-based architectures to address new break-through products and opportunities by envisioning the analog to digital multimedia transition. The definition of system architectures allowed ST to devise and specify, thanks to an in-house know-how and enabling CMOS, RF and bipolar technologies, new integrated circuits to enable innovative digital multimedia broadcast services. Since 1960s, ST (which was the result of SGS and Thomson Semiconductors merge) developed silicon processes and circuits based on bipolar, bicmos and cmos technologies developed in the Agrate Brianza, Cornaredo, Catania (Italy) and Grenoble (France) sites. These manufacturing technologies were instrumental to let ST system architects and design engineers of devising chips working on frequency spectrums required by satellite information transmissions. Moreover, the circuits were capable of processing analog and digital signals within low power constraints. Up to the 90s ST accumulated significant results proven by many chip developments to address automotive car radio demodulation and baseband signal processing, GSM mobile cellular digital vocoding digital processing and digital TV QPSK/BPSK, FEC and Viterbi satellite transmissions by when the analog to digital multimedia entertainment transition happened. In particular:

       1.	ST Agrate site (Italy) via its own advanced system architecture group had the competences to architect complex system receiver’s architectures since mid-80s. Three chips were defined.
       2.	ST Catania site (Italy) had proven capabilities about chip design and manufacturing skills to develop radio frequency processing based on bipolar transistors.  
       3.	ST Cornaredo site (Italy) had proven chip design and manufacturing capabilities for base band chips for automotive car radio.
       4.	ST Grenoble site (Italy) had proven chip design and manufacturing capabilities exploiting at best bicmos and cmos based technologies. By developing digital signal processors (DSP) based on a break-through low power very long instruction words execution micro architecture.

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

1) Technical obstacles

Several technical problems were faced during these chips’ development. One was the definition of the right trade-off cost vs. performances (sensibility, power consumption) of the kit implementing the first satellite radio receiver. System specifications were not consolidated since day 1 so they changed during development; the lack of tools for RF monolithic design was a big challenge and it was overcome by implementing 7 different versions of the chip to shorten development time. Finally, the choice of pure bipolar technology to limit the costs was compromised with available architectural and circuital solutions practicable with this technology. Most of the customers adopting this new system at that time were placed in the far east. The exchange of information during development was so discontinuous and mainly concentrated during travels done by change of development milestones.

2) Political and geographic obstacles

ST was not directly exposed to any political and geographic obstacles; political obstacles were faced by Worldspace services while, from the geographic standpoint, ST was aware that launching a service on Africa was difficult due to the low economic GPD of the population, the absence of electricity in all areas, etc.

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

The 3 ICs features are described below and represent the contributions with respect to the actual realization of the subject of the proposed milestone:

1. STA001: RF front end (FE) 2. STA002: channel decoder 3. STA003: source decoder

1) STA001

After considering different RF architectures, a superheterodyne architecture was devised. Since previous RF tuners were composed of discrete components. ST designers in Catania did a courageous choice by addressing a complete integration of the RF FE. It included hand calculations in a feature-poor design kit environment specific for RF monolithic design not existing or uncompleted at that time. To minimize the risks associated with the full monolithic integration and minimizing development timings with respect to the competition, 7 different versions of the RF FE were devised, integrated, and measured through test chips. Then one was chosen for production. Therefore, a low voltage RF receiver was devised containing all the building blocks with the RF signal going from the low noise amplifier (LNA) to the baseband buffer via interface to STA002. Two phase-locked loops (PLL’s) provided the RF and the intermediate frequency (IF) local oscillator signals and were designed on single chip. Innovative solutions for critical blocks such as the LNA, the IF buffer, the Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO), etc., as well as new. arrangements for bias circuits were devised which greatly increased the circuit performances. Moreover, 2.4 V regulated power supplies with power down capability were included. The receiver needed a small number of external components that were mainly. the RF image filter and the surface acoustic wave (SAW) channel filter. It achieved a maximum gain of 120 dB and a noise figure of 5 dB. The internal regulators were set to 2.4V and ensure correct operation with an external power supply varying from 2.7 to 5.5 V. The receiver was integrated in a high performance 20-GHz silicon bipolar technology. Its die size was 18mm2 and it needed a quiescent current of 75 mA. The RF FE was designed starting from late 1996 and it was finalized in June 1997. The 1st sample was available in august, 1997, while in the second part of 1997 some redesign was done:

       a)	Cut 1.1 to match the phase noise specification of RF PLL (2 degrees by SSB integration from Carrier to 1.84MHz). 
       b)	Cut 2 to significantly decrease and optimize the power dissipation and to improve Interferers performance.

For XM radio a dedicated tuner was subsequently derived, and the production of these chips continued after the merger between XM and Sirius.

2) STA002

This baseband processor included all the necessary blocks to decode the satellite signal provided by the RF tuner STA001. The analog to digital conversion was performed by the embedded 6-bit A/D converter feeding a fully programmable QPSK demodulator. The forward error correction section included the Viterbi decoder, the convolutional de-interleaver and the Reed-Solomon decoder. Finally, the broadcast channel and the service components were extracted and the MP3 audio bitstream was delivered to the serial audio output port. The baseband decoder also implemented signal decryption to support Worldspace pay-per-listen services. Before starting the front-end design of STA002, C and COSSAP primitive models of the critical IP blocks were created. The full STA002 hierarchy and all IPs, including the device top level, were described in VHDL (VHSIC Hardware Description Language). RTL design, code level simulations, synthesis, gate level simulations, timing closure, floorplan and place and route were performed using Synopsys tools. The technology selected for the device was STMicroelectronics high density CMOS 0.35um 5 metal layers on 8” wafers produced in Crolles (France). STA002 was probably the most advanced radio baseband decoder of the 90s; all device parameters could be easily configured by an external micro-controller via the dedicated I2C interface. The approach described resulted in a very fast execution time: the IP modeling started in November 1996, the PG tape of STA002 was released in June 1997 and the first samples were available in September 1997. The chips were fully functional from the first version. The low power consumption was also an impressive result, especially considering that the target products were battery-operated portable receivers.

3) STA003

STA003 development was based on several milestone:

       1.	On November 29th, 1996, the floating-point model was available by ST.
       2.	On December 6th, 1996, the fixed-point model was available by ST.
       3.	On February 4th, 1997, the first MP3 MMDSP (multimedia digital signal processor) software was available and has been validated on existing AC3 devices by making a dedicated metal fix to change the ROM code. The metal fix PG tape has been manufactured in February 1996 and the samples were available in April 1997. The Worldspace receiver was successfully using this cut.
       4.	The first Worldspace source decoder PG tape (the STA003) has been launched in May 1997 in HCMOS6 technology (0.35 micron).
       5.	The first samples were available on August 29, 1997.
       6.	The production device required a small fix and a cut1.1 PG tape has been launched in November 24th 1997 and the samples were available in January 12, 1998 totally functional.

The ST003 device size was 24 mm2 in ST 0.350µm cmos technology, including 2.5 million transistors and 4Kx64 ROM program; Worldspace audio decoding required only 17 MIPS computational power. Those lead to a very small power consumption giving a big advantage for a portable radio powered by battery against competition. STA003 was also a key enabler of emerging technologies aiming to replace CD and minidisks. STMicroelectronics has been ranked 1st worldwide IC provider of MP3 decoder in 2000 (Dataquest ranking.) The ST device used in the MP3 decoder was the STA013 IC derived from STA003. Then the STA016 was used for MP3 CD car radio adopted in many cars radio. The STA450 source decoder IC was used in the first XM car radio generation. Once again the ST MMDSP was the key enabling programmable VLIW processing architecture of the source decoder architecture.

Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.

1) Technical articles, conference papers & books

A) STA001 References:

a. G. Cali, G. Cantone, P. Filoramo, G. Sirna, P. Vita and G. Palmisano, "A high-performance Si-bipolar RF receiver for digital satellite radio," in IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, vol. 46, no. 12, pp. 2568-2576, Dec. 1998, doi: 10.1109/22.739249.

b. G. Cali, G. Cantone, P. Filoramo, G. Sirna, P. Vita and G. Palmisano, "A low voltage RF receiver for digital satellite radio," 1998 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium Digest (Cat. No.98CH36192), Baltimore, MD, USA, 1998, pp. 349-352 vol.1, doi: 10.1109/MWSYM.1998.689390.

c. A low voltage RF receiver for digital satellite radio. Authors G. Cali, G. Cantone, P. Filoramo, G. Sirna, P. Vita, G. Palmisano; January 1998, Issue Complete Pages, p.301To – 304

d. G. Cali, P. Erratico, M. Gimignani and P. Vita, "A VLSI low power solution for mobile satellite radio receivers," Proceedings of the IEEE 1998 Custom Integrated Circuits Conference (Cat. No.98CH36143), Santa Clara, CA, USA, 1998, pp. 405-408, doi: 10.1109/CICC.1998.695007.

e. STA001 datasheet, multichip description of the 7 different versions of RF FE integrated in the 1st cut


f. STA001 data sheet - A redesign presentation, including cut1.1 and cut2 items Media:STA001redesign cut1.1 and cut2.pdf

g. USA Patents

       i.	6,093.981 Media:US6093981A1.pdf 
      ii.	US20020093380A1 Media:US20020093380A1.pdf

b) STA002 References

a. Patents

       Media:US5818854.pdf REED-SOLOMON DECODER

b. STA002 STARMAN CHANNEL DECODER Target Specification, Sept. 1997 SGS-Thomson Microelectronics


c. STV0196 datasheet


c) STA003 References

       a)	DAC 97, An Embedded System Case Study: The FirmWare Development Envirronement for a MultiMedia Audio Processor (C Liem, M Cornero, M. Santana, Pierre Paulin, Amhed Jerraya, JM Gentit, J Lopez, X Figari, L. Bergher)  
              Media:DAC97 Embedded System Case Study.pdf  
       b)	ICC97 Dolby AC3 and MPEG2 Audio Decoder IC with 6 Channel output (L. Bergher, J. Boehm, X Figari, JM Gentit, F Kazi, S Lecomte, J Spille, EF Schroeder, W Voessing, JM Zins) 
              Media:ICCE97 DOLBY AC-3 and MPEG2 Audio Decoder.pdf  
       c)	Patent 6681236 Method of performing operations with a variable arithmetic (David Jacquet, Pascal Fouilleul Filled on Dec 2000) 
              Media:Patent 6,681,236.pdf  
       d)	STA003 Datasheet
              Media:STA003 Layout.pdf  
              Media:STA003 Slide Layout 1997 August.pdf  
              Media:STA003T datasheet 2002.pdf  
              Media:STA013 Datasheet.pdf  
              Media:TPA NEW 1999 August STA013.pdf  
              Media:TPA NEWS 1999 MARCH STA013.pdf

2) Pictures

       a) Panasonic radio
       b)  3rd Worldspace Summit
       c)  OEM system

3) Media articles

              Media:Inside a WorldSpace satellite radio receiver.pdf
              Media:The Role of Satellites in Distance Education (Spring 2007).pdf
              Media:Under the Hood_ XM radio receiver makes waves - EE Times.pdf

4) Worldspace seminar

              a) S. J. Campamella, "Seminar on the worldspace satellite direct digital audio broadcast system," 
              IEE Colloquium on Communication Opportunities Offered by Advanced Satellite Systems 
              Day 1 (Ref. No. 1998/484), London, UK, 1998, pp. 4/1-4/34.
              b) IEEE Spectrum Digital radio takes to the road

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.

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Please recommend reviewers by emailing their names and email addresses to Please include the docket number and brief title of your proposal in the subject line of all emails.