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No more fade to black

A potentially exciting innovation for the AV industry – resulting from a three and a half year development effort – has been announced by Calibre at its ISE press conference. The company unveiled what it claims is the industry’s first virtual-ASIC video processor capable of scaling, switching, enhancing, correcting and converting ultra-high-definition (UHD) formats including 4K and WQXGA at compelling price points through efficient implementation.

Calibre’s virtual-ASIC technology is based on Altera field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and will be offered as Calibre proAV products as well as OEM own-label, board-level and full custom options for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Tim Brooksbank, chairman at Calibre, noted that 30% of its business derives from its own end products, while the other 70% is accounted for by OEM sales.

“We recognised that a number of silicon manufacturers have pulled out of the AV market, and left a hole that very much needs filling,” said Brooksbank. “What we’re announcing today will also be very helpful in terms of helping equipment manufacturers to better navigate the issues of obsolescence.”

Brooksbank said the new technology will also deliver unprecedented levels of performance – seeing channel switching, for example, occurring in a quarter of a second or less.

“That means no more ‘fade to black’ when switching from signal to signal,” he smiled.

Initial technology is based on the Altera Cyclone V FPGA and provides internal processing of 300MP/s on the primary channel and 150MP/s on the secondary channel.