Gennum demos 12-Gbit/sec SDI-over-optical video transport

Nov. 21, 2007
November 21, 2007 -- The demonstration was presented at the International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition (Inter BEE) in Chiba, Japan.

November 21, 2007 -- Leveraging its optical technology, Gennum Corp. has demonstrated what it calls "the industry's highest speed, highest performance" video transport/video broadcast platform.

According to the company, the platform's "unprecedented signal integrity, achieved at 12 Gbit/sec, validates the video industry's ability to move to even higher resolution video formats, to transmit multiple high rate streams across a single optical link, and to support emerging high rate standards."

The demonstration was held at Gennum's booth at the International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition (Inter BEE) event, held November 20-22 at the Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Chiba, Japan.

"Just as we did in the early days of SDI, Gennum continues to innovate in order to enable our customers to move to the next level with their video streaming applications," comments Martin Rofheart, senior vice president and general manager of Gennum's Analog and Mixed Signal division. "This demonstration highlights the broad possibilities for our video customers to move even higher rates of video through their infrastructure. As important, new and emerging standards such as Ultra-High Definition TV and D-Cinema are now within reach, these data rates will support the delivery of content that meet the high quality requirements of these and other standards."

Gennum's demonstration leverages the company's clock and data recovery (CDR) technology for video optical module applications, which enables maximum signal integrity at these higher rates to deliver high quality video. The module, a standard off-the-shelf XFP transceiver modified to include Gennum's 12.5G CDR test chip, is capable of variable data rates from 9.9 Gbit/sec to 12.5 Gbit/sec. According to the company, this variation enables support for a broad range of current and emerging standards, such as UHDTV, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) 435M, D-Cinema, 12-bit 4:4:4 1080p. Additionally, the module's high bandwidth enables up to eight HD-SDI links or four 3 Gbit/sec-SDI links, creating new possibilities for design of serial routing and distribution equipment.

As a means of "highlighting the tremendous performance gains that can be achieved using CDR technology," Gennum says the demonstration specifically features a 13.5 Gbit/sec BERT [Bit Error Rate Tester] which is used as a variable bit rate source and receiver. This signal is electrically transmitted to the optical transmit module which converts the data from electrical to optical. The optical signal is then split into two optical signals. One signal goes directly to a high speed oscilloscope for observation of the raw optical transmit eye. The other signal is sent to the optical receive portion of the module. The signal is received by the optical module and converted back to an electrical signal, at which point it passes through the Gennum CDR which resets the jitter budget. It then passes through the crosspoint and is sent to the oscilloscope. The oscilloscope shows the significant differences in performance between a signal that has passed through the CDR and one that has not, with the signal having passed through the CDR showing an increase in performance.

"We welcome demonstrations of this nature," offers Peter Symes, director of standards and engineering at SMPTE. "We expect to create standards and specifications for motion picture applications at ever higher data rates, and proof of concept is essential to the credibility and focus of the work."

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