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Analog Bits releases Serdes IP for next-gen displays

Posted: 22 Mar 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Serdes IP? V-by-One? iDP? LVDS?

In a bid to intensify its Serdes efforts, mixed-signal intellectual-property vendor Analog Bits Inc. recently unveiled a new technology that will power next-generation flat panel displays.

The California-based company has released custom or application-specific Serdes IP that is said to reduce area by up to 25 times, die costs by up to 25 percent and power consumption by 700mW.

The IP is designed for 3D TVs and next-generation displays. 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 IPor 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 optimized it for dedicated transmitter and receiver market needs" for next-generation displays, he added.

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 600Mbps, while the company's Serdes IP runs at 3.2Gbps. "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.

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. It 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.

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

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