News Center

Silicon Image Unveils New Vastlane™ HDMI 1.3 TDMS Switch Family


New VastLane™ TMDS Switch Family with Integrated HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) Functionality Backed by Comprehensive Interoperability Testing Through Simplay LabsTM

Silicon Image, Inc., a leader in semiconductors for the secure storage, distribution and presentation of high-definition content, at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today unveiled the first generation of its family of VastLane™ Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) switches. The new TMDS switches enable multiple High-Definition Multimedia Interface™ (HDMI™) source devices to connect to HDTVs with frequency of operation up to 225 megahertz (MHz), allowing consumers to enjoy Deep Color content. Based on the HDMI version 1.3 specifications, SiI9181 and SiI9185 are advanced TMDS switches that enable manufacturers of HDTVs to provide a cost effective method of adding additional HDMI ports to the latest HDTVs. Now HDTV’s can easily connect to the many HDMI sources coming to market, including HD DVD or Blu-ray players, set top boxes, A/V receivers, game consoles, camcorders and digital still cameras, so consumers can enjoy a rich home theater experience.

The SiI9185 is a three-to-one (3:1) switch ideally suited for use in the back panel of HDTVs, where consumers would plug in multiple devices, such as an HD DVD or Blu-ray player, set top box or game console. The 3:1 SiI9185 TMDS switch is used to select a single HDMI or Digital Video Interface™ (DVI™) signal from among the three HDTV receiver ports and generates fully compliant HDMI/DVI audio/video output. The switch provides support for Digital Data Channel (DDC), High Definition Content Protection (HDCP), Hot Plug Detect (HPD) and five volts power. The SiI9181 is a one-to-one switch ideally suited for the front or side panel of an HDTV, where consumers would plug in an HD camcorder, digital still camera, or other portable device with an HDMI port.

“Silicon Image will continue to introduce new, innovative products that help consumer electronics manufacturers deliver enhanced functionality in a cost effective manner,” said Waheed Rasheed, product marketing manager of consumer electronics products at Silicon Image. “The SiI9181 and SiI9185 enable manufacturers to add valuable new features to HDTVs that improve the consumer’s experience through enjoyment of premium high definition content in a simple and straightforward manner.”

The SiI9181 and SiI9185 provide a low cost method of transmitting high-definition digital audio and video, giving consumers a truly all-digital experience. New integrated features help lower system cost and provide enhanced features, such as built-in support for the Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) functionality and integrated Extended Display Identification Data Random Access Memory (EDID RAM).

Built-in support for CEC functionality reduces the time to market and overall costs for manufacturers to implement CEC. In addition, CEC I/O is HDMI 1.3 compliant. CEC implementation in SiI9185 and SiI9181 provide manufacturers with a high level application-programming interface (API) to eliminate low-level implementation by the microcontroller. CEC is a capability of the HDMI specification that gives consumers a simple and seamless way to navigate across multiple components of a home entertainment system. When CEC is implemented, consumers can press one button, such as the “play” button for the DVD player, and all components within the system respond by powering on. The components also automatically configure themselves to display the content in the highest quality possible within the system. Silicon Image offers manufacturers a common API to reduce the complexity of integrating the CEC functionality and tests this capability through Simplay Labs TM to insure solid cross platform compatibility.

The new VastLane switch family is the first generation of devices from Silicon Image to integrate the Extended Display Identification Data Random Access Memory (EDID RAM), eliminating the need for external EDID Read Only Memory (ROM) for each HDMI port. Source devices, such as DVD players and set top boxes, read EDID in sink devices such as HDTVs and A/V receivers to determine the video and audio modes that are supported.

The Silicon Image switch family uses the latest generation TMDS core technology and has been pre-qualified for the HDMI Compliance Test Specification (CTS) 1.3a. While other solutions on the market use a high-speed analog switch, which can degrade the signal causing HDMI test failures, the Silicon Image HDMI 1.3-compliant TMDS switches receive and retransmit the TMDS signal for full system level switching, eliminating the need for additional external components.

The SiI9185 and SiI9181 have built-in backward compatibility with DVI 1.0, which allows HDMI systems to connect to any DVI 1.0 source. A very low power standby mode is available, allowing HDTVs to meet industry low power requirements such as Energy Star™.

Silicon Image offers one of the most robust and comprehensively tested technology platforms in the consumer electronics industry. Silicon Image’s experience associated with shipping more than 100 million HDMI/HDCP and DVI/HDCP semiconductor solutions helps to significantly improve cross product interoperability. Silicon Image implements HDCP using its own copyrighted firmware stack, and performs a triple validation process in the programming of its HDCP keys to prevent duplicate key programming, selective authentication problems and corruptions. This validation, complemented by one of the most advanced and thorough testing program through Simplay Labs, allows OEM’s to virtually eliminate issues with cross platform compatibility. ?

The Simplay HD Testing Program has verified the SiI9181 and the SiI9185 for HDMI 1.3 compatibility. The Simplay Program provides compatibility testing for high definition (HD) consumer electronics devices such as HDTVs, set-top boxes, audio/video (A/V) receivers and DVD players, helping manufacturers to achieve compatibility and deliver the highest-quality HDTV experience to consumers.