Gennum develops in-wire technology for 100-foot DisplayPort cables

Now that DisplayPort is becoming more of a household name (like it or not), we're thrilled to see someone making sure we can run an external monitor from more than a stone's throw away. Gennum has stepped in with its ActiveConnect DisplayPort solution, which embeds a small semiconductor within a DisplayPort cable to actively push signals up to 30-meters (around 100-feet) without the need for a costly, cumbersome extender box. There's no word yet on which interconnect companies have signed on to produce these sophisticated strands, but we'd expect to hear more by the time CES 2009 gets underway. Full release is after the break.

Gennum Extends DisplayPort Cable Lengths by up to 15x

ActiveConnect™ DisplayPort™ Solution Enables Rapid Adoption of DisplayPort in Digital Signage, PCs, Media Server Devices

BURLINGTON, Ontario – December 8, 2008 – Further broadening the application support for high-speed digital interfaces, Gennum Corporation (TSX: GND) today announced it is expanding its ActiveConnect family with a new connectivity solution for DisplayPort cable products. Rapidly emerging in a variety of electronic devices including laptops, PCs, media servers, DVRs, home theater displays and commercial signage displays, DisplayPort is a digital interface standard that today supports a maximum 10.8 Gb/s data rate over a two meter cable (roughly six feet). By using Gennum's ActiveConnect GV8502 device, a small, cost-effective semiconductor solution, within a standard copper cable assembly, displays can be driven at distances up to 30 meters (roughly 100 feet) – more than 15 times the reach of passive DisplayPort cables. Gennum will showcase this capability at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES), being held in Las Vegas January 8-11, 2009, in the DisplayPort TechZone.

"We see broad market adoption of DisplayPort, in commercial applications such as digital signage and business projectors found in meeting/conference rooms, auditoriums and training facilities" said Vijay Sharma, Director of Product Marketing, Analog & Mixed-Signal Division, Gennum. "These applications require cables as long as 100 feet, and have therefore been unable to take advantage of the multimedia quality that DisplayPort offers. The Gennum ActiveConnect GV8502 can be seamlessly and cost-effectively embedded into the cable, enabling a variety of new active cable solutions that will allow DisplayPort to become a pervasive technology in these fast-growing markets."

According to Brian O'Rourke, analyst at market research firm In-Stat, "DisplayPort is a next-generation digital interface between PCs and LCD monitors that holds great promise for both the consumer and commercial industries. We are just starting to see products emerge that support DisplayPort, and we believe that DisplayPort-enabled devices will grow at an annual rate of 243 percent from 2008 to 2012, representing tremendous opportunities for product and accessories manufacturers that can quickly develop DisplayPort products to capitalize on this growth."

ActiveConnect Provides the Necessary Link for DisplayPort Devices
The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), which introduced DisplayPort in 2006, last year ratified DisplayPort version 1.1a, thus enabling resolutions as high as 4K2K (4x resolution of 1080p displays today), 16-bit color depths and 120Hz refresh rates.

Supporting 21.6 gigabits per second (Gbps), up to twice the 10.8 Gbps/channel required by the DisplayPort HBR specification, the newest ActiveConnect solution can drive multimedia up to 100 feet over standard copper DisplayPort cables. Additionally, manufacturers can leverage a complete ActiveConnect reference design kit (RDK) that enables fast integration for cables, as well as wall plates, dongles and booster products that support DisplayPort. The new ActiveConnect DisplayPort RDK provides a turnkey design capability that shortens design time enabling faster time-to-market.

Last year, Gennum became the first company to deliver support for full-rate HDMI 1.3 with a transmit/receive solution capable of operating at distances of 100 meters over coaxial cable, which has since been adopted by leading cable manufacturers serving the home theater custom install market. The ActiveConnect family also includes HDMI 1.3 support for Category 5/6 and thin HDMI cables, wall plates and boosters for the consumer and custom install market.

ActiveConnect DisplayPort Reference Design Kit to Speed Design
Targeting DisplayPort applications, the GV8502-based solution is an active, receive-only solution that will be sold as part of a reference design kit containing a demonstration cable and design collateral. The kit can be leveraged to design cables, dongles, boosters and extenders capable of supporting the full suite of DisplayPort features and functions. The ActiveConnect reference design kit for DisplayPort will be available in January 2009. Initial volume pricing for the ActiveConnect GV8502 silicon solution for DisplayPort is expected to be $2 per unit.

Gennum will be demonstrating its complete suite of ActiveConnect solutions at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show being held January 8-11, 2009 in Las Vegas. Gennum will be displaying its DisplayPort solution at the DisplayPort TechZone, located in the Sands Hotel Expo & Convention Center, Booth 73611. Gennum's ActiveConnect solutions for HDMI will be shown at the HDMI TechZone, Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall 1, Booth 21266.