Early digital visual interface (DVI) implementations only handled video, making no provision for carrying companion audio (see "Two-Chip Set Safeguards Digital Video Content," Electronic Design, June 12, 2000, p. 68). But a new chip set adds audio capability to the DVI link. Dubbed the SiI 190 PanelLink transmitter and SiI 991 PanelLink receiver, they bring together digital audio and digital video into a single, secure, all-digital interface capable of transporting uncompressed high-bandwidth digital (HD) content.
The SiI 190 is designed for set-top boxes, DVD players, D-VHS players, game consoles, and other consumer electronics products. The companion IC, the Sil 991, is compatible with HDTVs and projectors based on CRT, LCD, plasma, and digital light processing (DLP). With the addition of audio capability to the DVI link, consumer electronics manufacturers can transmit and receive all-digital surroundsound formats, including Dolby Digital, Digital Theater Systems (DTS), and PCM stereo.
DVI with high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) capability may become a crucial component in future consumer electronic products. DVI with HDCP enables the encryption of premium HD video traveling between the digital host and the display devices, thereby addressing the motion-picture industry's concerns about unauthorized duplication and piracy. Organizations responsible for the widespread release and availability of premium HD content in the home have already indicated their support for DVI with HDCP.
This chip set brings audio data into the existing DVI electrical and physical layers by embedding it in the DVI clock signal. No additional pins are necessary because the audio data is embedded within the existing DVI clock channel. An audio modulator in the SiI 190 adds the audio to the pulse train on the clock channel. Likewise, a demodulator in the SiI 991 extracts the audio from the clock, forwarding it to the audio output interface.
The audio bandwidth is over 10 Mbits/s, supporting Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS, MLP (DVD audio), MPEG-2 audio, HDCD, and PCM stereo. As for video, the chip pair supports a 25- to 165-MHz video pixel clock rate, 525i (480i), 480p, and 625i SDTV formats, and 720p and 1080i HDTV formats. They also support VGA (640 by 480) to UXGA (1600 by 1200) display formats.
In volume quantities, the SiI 190 transmitter costs under $5 and the SiI 991 receiver costs under $12. Sample quantities of both will be available in the second quarter. Production volumes will ship in the third quarter.
Silicon Image Inc., 1060 E. Arques Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085; (408) 616- 4000, (408) 616-4148; fax (408) 830-9530; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet: www.simage.com.