SAN FRANCISCO Semiconductor vendor Silicon Image Inc. Monday (Oct. 23) rolled out a pair of VastLane High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) transmitters said to provide a single-chip solution for enabling PC manufacturers to drive digital output to PC monitors and high-definition (HD) TVs.
According to Silicon Image, the VastLane SiI1392-3 and VastLane SiI1932-3 offer performance of up to 340 megahertz, more than double to speed of the company's first-generation VastLane HDMI transmitters. The products are said to be capable of driving any of the biggest, highest-resolution PC monitors on the market with a single-link solution, including Apple Computer Inc.'s 30-inch Cinema Display.
According to Brad Garofalo, product marketing manager for PC products at
Silicon Image (Sunnyvale, Calif.), VastLane SiI1392-3 and SiI1932-3 are available at the same price point as their predecessors, but include advancements like hardwiring functionality that typically requires a separate discrete microcontroller and discrete transmitters directly into the devices' firmware, making them easier and less costly to implement.
"These products allow a board designer or mother board designer to place HDMI into their product at a very low price point," Garofalo said.
HDMI is backward compatible with Digital Visual Interface (DVI), enabling VastLane SiI1392-3 and SiI1932-3 to tap into the large installed base of PC monitors with DVI inputs. According to market research firm In-Stat, this year the estimated installed base of PC monitors with DVI inputs will reach 106 million while the estimated installed base of HDTVs with HDMI inputs will reach 44 million.
"If you can drive a 30-inch Apple Cinema Display at 10-bit, that's got to be the bleeding edge for years to come," Garofalo said.
PCs with HDMI connectors allow consumers to transmit the high-quality premium digital audio and video content, such as high-definition movies from HD DVD or Blu-ray Disc drives and HDTV tuners, to HDTVs and other displays.
Garofalo said he was told by one PC manufacturer customer earlier this year that an HDMI interface was not long ago considered to be a high-end feature, but that it's now become a "check off" item.
The VastLane SiI1392-3 and SiI1932-3 are packaged as 64-pin lead-free quad flat packs and are currently available for sampling. Specific pricing information was not disclosed