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Long Live 3G-SDI

Ray Pan in Blogs on July 27, 2022

About Ray Pan

Ray Pan is an Applications Engineer at Symmetry Electronics. He has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University. With over 15 years of hands-on experience in the electronics industry, Ray serves as an excellent technical consulting resource for design engineers. Specializing in consumer and professional audio-video, FPGA, and mmWave applications–Ray develops insightful technical articles, conducts technical trainings for inside sales and customers, provides system architecture analyses, and interprets market trends covering technical products. Recognized for his talents and contributions, Ray is the proud recipient of the Lattice Semiconductor FAE of the Year 2020 Award for America.
Experts-At-Symmetry-Electronics-Explain-Why-3G-SDI-Video-Components-Are-Still-Being-Used-In-Products-Today-After-16-Years

Serial Digital Interface (SDI) is a series of digital video interfaces standardized by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). The first standard of SD-SDI was introduced in 1989 with the SMPTE-259M and addressed the need for transmitting digitized NTSC (480i) /PAL (576i) video. The SD-SDI provided a throughput of up to 270Mbit/s throughput in video production and broadcast control systems. Demand for high-definition digital video has accelerated since the transition from analog to digital.

The first high-definition standard (HD-SDI) was released in 1998 with the SMPTE-292M. The HD-SDI was the first standard capable of transmitting video in 720P, 1080i HD format with a frame rate of 24/25/30 Hz, and color-coding 4:2:2. Later, dual-link HD-SDI became available to further improve the throughput from 1.486Gbit/s to 2.97Gbit/s in order to carry full HD, 1080P video, over dual links.

Single-link 3G-SDI quickly followed with its release in 2006 with the SMPTE 424M. Single-link 3G-SDI solved the issue of dual-link HD-SDI, which you must run two parallel cables in order to cater 1080P60Hz/50Hz, 4:4:4 or deep color with extended 12-bit depth. The latest standard, 12G-SDI, is developed for 4K video. The next standard of 24G-SDI, targeting 8K video, is not far off.

Regardless of SDI advancements, many 3G-SDI video products still exist and are being developed today. 3G-SDI is mainly used in video equipment found in broadcasting, aviation, transportation, medical, security, and digital signage as developers seek cost-effective and robust solutions for their products.

Compared to the latest 12G-SDI compatible devices, full HD video is more than an adequate solution in terms of cost and design-in efforts for many 3G-SDI applications. However, many first-generation 3G-SDI devices have been in the field for more than a decade and manufacturers are beginning to see the issue of designed-in SDI components nearing end of life. Despite concerns to procure long-term supply, the enhancements of longer cable reach, lower power, and compatibility of 12G-SDI equipment demands may be limited by first-generation 3G-SDI devices that incorporate older technologies.

The 4 main types of SDI components used in 3G-SDI products are cable equalizers, receivers, cable drivers, and transmitters. Extended product types include Configurable EQ/CD in single devices as bi-directional and standalone Re-clockers. It is essential to ensure that the current 3G-SDI devices are compatible with 12G-SDI to allow for simple navigation though the latest 12G-SDI infrastructure.

Semtech, a leading SDI technology provider, provides comprehensive solutions in their expansive portfolio of advanced SDI components. Semtech recently introduced a new generation of 3G-SDI solutions that will meet industry standards for the next 10 years.

Optimal Solutions:

  • GS3440, a cable equalizer that demonstrates maximum cable reach up to 550m
  • GS3241, a cable equalizer provides 12G-SDI drop-in compatibility for future approve
  • GS3140, a cable equalizer meets the lowest power consumption requirement
  • GS3490, a configurable EQ/CD that help reduce the number of BNC connector and overall cost
  • GS3281, the latest 3G-SDI Cable driver compatible with the latest 12G-SDI CD

Recommended Articles:

Semtech, LoRa and the LoRa logo are registered trademarks or service marks, and LoRa Basics, LoRa Cloud and LoRa Edge are trademarks of service marks, of Semtech Corporation or its affiliates. 

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Ray Pan in Blogs on July 27, 2022

About Ray Pan

Ray Pan is an Applications Engineer at Symmetry Electronics. He has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University. With over 15 years of hands-on experience in the electronics industry, Ray serves as an excellent technical consulting resource for design engineers. Specializing in consumer and professional audio-video, FPGA, and mmWave applications–Ray develops insightful technical articles, conducts technical trainings for inside sales and customers, provides system architecture analyses, and interprets market trends covering technical products. Recognized for his talents and contributions, Ray is the proud recipient of the Lattice Semiconductor FAE of the Year 2020 Award for America.

Why partner with Symmetry Electronics? Symmetry's technical staff is specially trained by our suppliers to provide a comprehensive level of technical support. Our in-house Applications Engineers provide free design services to help customers early in the design cycle, providing solutions to save them time, money and frustration. Contact Symmetry for more information.

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