Gennum Creates First Single Chip HD, 3Gb/s Transmit, Receive Solutions

Continuing to pioneer advanced technologies for the broadcast industry, Gennum Corporation (TSX: GND) has developed the industry’s first single-chip transmit and receive solutions to support 3 gigabits per second (Gb/s), as well as high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD), for serial digital interface (SDI) applications. These highly integrated chips provide broadcast and professional video equipment manufacturers a complete SDI solution, eliminating the requirement for any external processing and dramatically reducing development time. With serializer/deserializer (SerDes) capabilities, along with integrated cable driver, voltage controlled oscillator (VCO), and full video and audio support, the new transmitter and receiver offer over 30 percent savings in cost, power, and board area compared to existing HD solutions.

“By delivering complete SDI transmitter and receiver solutions, we are providing our customers a means of reducing their development time from man-years to man-weeks,” said Martin Rofheart, Senior Vice President and GM, Analog & Mixed-Signal Products, at Gennum. “Also, the cost, power and area savings offered by these products makes them the ideal choice for both 3Gb/s and HD-SDI applications, providing a solid platform for our customers to implement HD-based designs. Indeed, we anticipate the ease of implementation will enable a broad set of 3Gb/s-capable equipment such as cameras and monitors, which are essential for content generation and display of uncompressed 1080p 50/60 video signals.”

Gennum’s Complete Solutions Go Beyond Today’s “Simple SerDes” Offerings
Today, designers can use dedicated SerDes offerings to implement HD and 3Gb/s SDI transmitters and receivers, but must augment the SerDes with other discrete components and often use a field programmable gate array (FPGA) for video and audio processing. Gennum’s single-chip solutions eliminate the requirement for any additional components or processing. While Gennum’s devices do not rely on FPGAs for realizing a transmitter or receiver, they do provide a low speed, narrow width, parallel bus for seamless interfacing to industry-leading FPGAs. This is key for many designers who would like to leverage the flexibility and programmability of an FPGA in their designs for non-SDI processing features such as color-space conversion, image processing, or implementing a proprietary protocol.

As important, Gennum’s transmitter and receiver support both Level A and Level B mapping as described in the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers’ (SMPTE’s) new 425M 3Gb/s standard. Additionally, these chips are the only discrete solutions that offer user-selectable conversion between Level A and Level B. This feature allows the customer the flexibility to transmit and receive 3Gb/s video signals in either format without any hardware or software modifications.

With support for the SMPTE 259M-C SD standard and the SMPTE 292M standard for HD, in addition to the SMPTE 424M and 425M standards for 3Gb/s, the new tri-rate devices provide a migration path from existing HD-only designs to future 3Gb/s-capable designs.

“3Gb/s SDI applications continue to gain traction in the broadcast studios and many users want to be able to migrate existing HD designs to the new 3Gb/s standard,” according to Jag Bolaria, senior analyst at the Linley Group. “Providing users a complete solution will help accelerate market growth, and, now with a single chip option, it should enable new applications that previously couldn’t support a multi-chip implementation, such as cameras, to expand 3Gb/s support beyond the infrastructure network.”

Four Transmit and Receive Solutions to Meet Broad Set of HD, 3Gb/s Applications
Gennum has developed two complete transmit solutions, the GS2972 with both video support and audio embedding capabilities and the GS2962 with video support only. Both chips come equipped with Gennum’s patented ClockCleanerTM technology and an integrated VCO, allowing them to accept parallel clock inputs with jitter well in excess of 300ps and still output an SDI stream with less than 50ps of jitter. Furthermore, both chips feature an integrated SMPTE-compliant cable driver. The GS2972 and GS2962 provide a low power complete transmitter solution with typical consumption of 405mW and 380mW respectively. The two chips are ideal for HD or 3Gb/s-capable cameras/camcorders, displays, test equipment and digital VTRs.

To complement these transmitter solutions, Gennum’s GS2970 and GS2960 were developed to implement the receive functionality. Both chips feature a reclocker with an integrated VCO, providing 0.6UI of Input Jitter Tolerance (IJT), a low jitter serial reclocked loop-through output with less than 35ps of intrinsic jitter, and user-selectable video processing features. The GS2970 also includes audio extraction and an integrated audio clock generation block eliminating the need for any external circuitry. The two chips provide complete receive solutions with typical power consumptions of 440mW for full video and audio processing and 420mW for video processing only. The GS2970 and GS2960 are ideally suited to provide HD or 3Gb/s receiver functionality in monitors, downconverters, video monitoring systems, displays, test equipment and digital VTRs.

About the 3Gb/s SMPTE Standard
Over the past few years, the demand for high-definition content at higher bit rates has escalated. Broadcast studios and other video production facilities have wanted to extend the life of their infrastructure by using the same hardware currently used for HD-SDI. Thus, the standardizing bodies, SMPTE and ITU, ratified a new 3Gb/s SDI standard, the SMPTE 424M (physical interface), SMPTE 425M (format mapping) and ITU-R BT.1120-3-2005, that allows for the use of the same 75-ohm coaxial cable for transmission as currently in use. This new standard is generally referred to as 3Gb/s SDI enables higher resolution of pictures required for 1080p 50/60.

NAB Demonstrations and Product Availability
The company will showcase the GS2970 and GS2972 at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show being held next week in Las Vegas with a demonstration at the company’s booth #9114 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Samples of the 3Gb/s-capable receiver and transmitter chipsets are available now. Production versions of the solutions will be available Q3 2008.

About Gennum
Gennum Corporation (TSX: GND) designs innovative semiconductor solutions and intellectual property (IP) cores for the world’s most advanced consumer connectivity, enterprise, video broadcast and data communications products. Leveraging the company’s proven optical, analog and mixed-signal products and IP, Gennum enables multimedia and data communications products to send and receive information without compromising the signal integrity. A recognized award-winner for advances in high definition (HD) broadcasting, Gennum is headquartered in Burlington, Canada, and has global design, research and development and sales offices in Canada, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Germany, United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

Gennum, the Gennum logo are registered trademarks of Gennum Corporation.