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Serdes IP powers next-gen flat panel displays

Posted: 22 Mar 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Serdes IP  V-by-One standard  iDP technology  LVDS 

Analog Bits unveils custom or application-specific Serdes IP designed for 3D TVs and next-generation displays claiming to reduce area by up to 25x, die costs by up to 25 per cent and power consumption by 700mW.

The technology supports the V-by-One standard from Thine Electronics Inc. and iDP technology from STMicroelectronics Inc. It is a flexible solution that supports 90-, 65- and 40nm designs. Customers can procure either the transmitter or the receiver IP—or combo blocks.

Serdes technology makes use of a pair of functional blocks to compensate for limited I/O. It converts data between serial data and parallel interfaces in each direction.

"Serdes is pervasive in computing and communications," said Mahesh Tirupattur, executive vice president of Analog Bits. "We've optimised it for dedicated transmitter and receiver market needs" for next-generation displays.

The technology is gaining interest among flat-panel display companies, many of which use power-hungry LVDS circuits in their panels.

Now, LG, Samsung and others are devising next-generation 240Hz displays and TVs. Analog Bits argues that LVDS is hitting the wall in high-end displays. LVDS operates at 600Mbit/s, while the company's Serdes IP runs at 3.2Gbit/s. "Eight links of LVDS can't drive 240Hz panels," Tirupattur said. "3D TV requires more data for graphics-rich and video processing."

In effect, Analog Bits' Serdes IP will enable OEMs to "eliminate the LVDS," thereby saving cost but also boosting performance, he told EE Times at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Analog Bits is an emerging IP vendor, but it does not get the attention like other providers, such as ARM, Cadence, MIPS, Rambus, Synopsys and others. Analog Bits is perhaps the best-kept secret in Silicon Valley, in which its IP is used by a wide range of customers, such as Actel, NetLogic, QLogic, Silicon Blue, Tier Logic and others.

Analog Bits was founded in 1995 by former employees of AMD, Intel, Sun and others. The company started off as a consulting firm, but in 2003, it moved into the IP front by shipping its first product—a PLL device.

The IP house considers PLLs its flagship product. In January, Analog Bits announced availability of a full design kit for its PLL IP products, supporting the 28nm Common Platform process of IBM, Samsung and Globalfoundries.

Supports other foundries
Analog Bits also supports other foundries, such as TSMC, UMC and others. Meanwhile, over the years, the IP house has expanded into other markets, such as Serdes, interfaces, SRAMs, TCAMs and converters.


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