San Jose, Calif.Genesis Microchip Inc. has developed what it claims is the industry's first transmitter-receiver pair based on the DisplayPort 1.0 standard. The DisplayPort-based product consists of a discrete transmitter (gm60028) and a discrete receiver (gm68020), which together form a interface translator for high-bandwidth display applications such as HDTVs, projectors and high-resolution monitors.
The product integrates a single-link DisplayPort interface capable of transporting uncompressed video and digital audio signals up to 10.8-Gbits/s bandwidth over a 50-foot cable. Using the IC components, designers can build a system incorporating DisplayPort link, a digital display connectivity standard approved by VESA in May. For more on DisplayPort, click here: www.vesa.org/
High-resolution display and high-fidelity audio are transported between the gm60028 and gm68020. Since DisplayPort is application agnostic, the pair may be used to connect a source device box such as a desktop PC to a display device like a desktop monitor. The two-chip product can also be used to connect a source component such as a graphics chip to a display IC, including a panel timing controller within a single chassis.
"It is expected that there will be numerous semiconductor companies introducing ICs that incorporate DisplayPort connectivity; discrete transmitter/receiver ICs, DisplayPort transmitter integrated into graphics controller ICs, DisplayPort receiver integrated into LCD controller/panel timing controller (TCON) ICs, etc. in the coming months," according to Alan Kobayashi, director of architecture and strategy at Genesis. "The gm60028 and gm68020 are the first of those DisplayPort enabling solution."
What makes this DisplayPort-based product unique is its efficiency and scalability in transporting pixel and audio data. Only a single differential pair is needed for transporting pixel data for a 1680x1050 LCD panel. Since a clock is embedded in a data stream, no separate differential pair for forwarding the clock is neededit is really a single differential pair. Only two differential pairs are required for a 1920x1080p panel (also called 1080p or FHD panel) and a 1920x1200 panel.
"With gm60028 and gm68020, only two pairs are needed to transport 1080p video with the pixel bit depth of 30 bits per pixel (or 10 bits per each of R, G, and B colors). Conventional display interface methods require seven to 12 high speed pairs for transporting 1920x1080p video at 30 bits per pixel," Kobayashi said.
DisplayPort cable-connector assembly developed by Molex www.molex.com has four high-speed differential pairs. Using the full capacity of the cable connector assembly, 1080p panels may be driven at 120-Hz either to improve on the motion performance of a flat panel display or to display "stereo" vision. This high-bandwidth may be used to support "4K digital cinema" (4096x2160 in resolution), Kobayashi said.
"1080p panel at 120-Hz is a state-of-the-art technology. With DisplayPort, display interface becomes a display innovation enabled, instead of a choke point," he said.
As for audio, a very high fidelity audio, such as 8-channel, 24-bits per sample, 192Hz audio, can be transported regardless of the video resolution, even without the presence of video, he added.
As notebook PC panel resolution and pixel bit depth increase, routing display wires through the narrow hinge is becoming a bigger challenge for manufacturers. This wire reduction translates into fewer IC package pins. And this is another way manufacturers can reduce cost.
"The ability to support a 1680x1050 panel, a leading edge resolution for notebooks, provides a competitive advantage to a PC OEM," he said.
The gm60028 and gm68020 are packaged in a 160-pin QFP and will start sampling in the fourth quarter of this year. Pricing has not yet been determined.
Genesis Microchip Inc., 1-408-262-6599, www.gnss.com