New Devices Automatically Link Integrated and Discrete Graphics Sources to DisplayPort, HDMI/DVI or Both
San Francisco (Intel Developers Conference) xx September 2009—Parade Technologies Ltd. (www.paradetech.com), a leading innovator of digital video interface products, has introduced three new products that enable switchable graphics implementations in notebook PCs. These include the PS8321 DisplayPortTM 2-to-1 multiplexer, the PS8271 HDMITM/DVI 2-to-1 multiplexer, and the PS8325 Dual Mode Cross-Point Switch.
Switchable graphics designs are being rapidly proliferated by PC OEMs to significantly extend battery life in notebook computers. By allowing users to dynamically choose between high performance discrete graphics or the minimal power consumption of the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD integrated graphics, battery life can be extended by one hour or more.
The new devices from Parade Technologies accept digital video output from either the discrete GPU (graphics processor units) or the integrated GPU, whichever is active. The PS8321 2-to-1 multiplexer drives a DisplayPort video output from the active GPU, the PS8271 2-to-1 multiplexer drives a DVI or HDMI video output from the active GPU, and the PS8325 Crosspoint Switch can drive either a DisplayPort or HDMI/DVI output from the active GPU.
“Switchable graphics satisfies a major user requirement for longer battery life in notebook computers. Several global computing brands are shipping switchable graphics computers today, and many more are expected with our next platform launch,” says Mike Trainor, Intel’s Chief Technology Evangelist. “New video interface switches, such as those launched by Parade, provide enhancements to the switchable graphics architecture. Mobile users clearly want the ability to choose battery-saving integrated graphics for most applications, while having the option of performance-oriented discrete graphics when desired for gaming or other 3D applications.”
A Video Multiplexer or Switch for Every Need
The PS8321 DisplayPort 2-to-1 multiplexer has two DisplayPort inputs and one DisplayPort output. Dual-mode (also known as or Multi-mode) DisplayPort is supported, and separate controls are provided for the DisplayPort main link and AUX channel signal paths. Parade Technologies has also integrated the DisplayPort repeater function in the PS8321, which means the DisplayPort signal is reconditioned prior to system output. The repeater function is similar to that featured in the recently announced PS8311, where the repeater removes signal distortion imposed by the system PCB traces and provides a clean, low distortion output. The repeater also intercepts AUX channel commands during link training and responds with the appropriate output conditions requested by the DisplayPort sink device.
The PS8271 DVI/HDMI 2:1 Multiplexer can accept either two DVI inputs or two HDMI inputs, and drives a single DVI or HDMI system output. The PS8271 takes the AC coupled signaling from either integrated or discrete GPU and performs level translation, providing a compliant DC coupled output. Data rates up to 2.25 Gbps are supported, enabling 1080p video resolutions with 12-bit per component color depth (deep color). Separate DDC and TMDSTM signal switching is supported.
The PS8325 Dual Mode DisplayPort Cross Point Switch is an exceptionally versatile device suitable for multiple applications. It has two DisplayPort inputs, one DisplayPort output, and one DVI/HDMI output. The Device supports Dual-mode DisplayPort source devices and maintains the Dual-mode functionality at the DisplayPort output. When the Dual-mode source is in DVI/HDMI mode, the PS8325’s DVI/HDMI output can be selected to provide a compliant DVI or HDMI output with support up to 2.25 Gbps. The PS8325 includes a level translator to support this function. The PS8325 also includes equalizers on the DisplayPort inputs, and a repeater, with AUX channel interception, on the DisplayPort output.
Automatic Functions Including Power Management
The PS8321, PS8271, and PS8325 provide easy system integration requiring no additional software or control other than mux selection. Power management is automatically controlled through sink device detection, and output squelch circuits are controlled by input signal detection. In the PS8321 and PS8325, the DisplayPort input equalizers are automatically adjusted during link training. The PS8325 also provides automatic output port switching. For the PS8271 and PS8325, the DVI/HDMI outputs can be adjusted for optimum EMI characteristics. All of the devices have an ESD rating of 8kV (HBM). All three of the devices are fabricated by Parade foundry partner UMC.
“UMC is pleased to be the manufacturing partner for Parade,” said C.G. Shih, VP of America & Europe Sales and Customer Engineering at UMC. “With Parade’s experienced design team coupled with UMC’s engineering resources, we were confident that our joint efforts would result in a high-quality DisplayPort interface product. We look forward to working with Parade for similar product successes in the future.”
Pricing and Availability
The PS8271 is priced at $1.75 in 100k quantity, is packaged in a 48 pin 7x7mm QFN, and is sampling now.
The PS8325 priced at $2.50 in 100k quantity, is packaged in a 72 pin 11x5mm QFN, and is in production.
The PS8321 is priced at $1.75 in 100k quantity, is packaged a 56 pin 7x7mm QFN, with samples available in October 2009.
About Parade Technologies, Ltd. and Parade Technologies, Inc.
Parade Technologies, Ltd. is a privately held fabless semiconductor company that specializes in developing high-speed interface products, a $3 billion global market. The company seeks to leverage a combination of high-speed analog, mixed-signal and digital design expertise, along with system level knowledge, to take product performance, power efficiency and customer satisfaction to new heights.
Parade Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Parade Technologies, Ltd, is located in San Jose, California, the heart of Silicon Valley. As Parade Technologies, Ltd’s marketing representative in the United States, Parade Technologies, Inc. can be reached at (408) 329-5540, or on the Internet at http://www.paradetech.com .