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Gareth Heywood

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SDI Is Dead: Long Live SDI!

Posted by Gareth Heywood on 15 April 2021

I designed my first product using the Serial Digital Interface (SDI) back in 1996, and little did I know that this fledgling coax-based video interface standard would dominate my career for the next 20+ years. Back then, SDI was limited to carrying Standard Definition (SD) digital video at 270 Megabits per second (Mbps), but would evolve to higher and higher data rates to carry High Definition 720p, 1080i and 1080p, and most recently 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) video, at cable lengths that were not thought possible. The convenience of a low cost single conductor coaxial copper cable, capable of carrying 4K video up to 100m has meant that SDI has become the de facto AV connectivity of choice in markets such as broadcast, Pro AV, medical and surveillance.

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Tags: Broadcast Video, Professional AV, BlueRiver

AVX for “Bring Your Own Meeting” Applications

Posted by Gareth Heywood on 25 March 2021

With the move to a more distributed workforce as well as an increasing number of staff permanently working from home, businesses are opting for smaller huddle rooms for ad hoc meetings and remote collaboration. Also taking advantage of the power of today’s personal computing technology, businesses large and small are relying less and less on dedicated, permanently installed video conferencing systems. These days, it is quite commonplace for users to drive the meeting and room technology using their own devices, and collaborate using the latest video conferencing software tools. This is often referred to as a “Bring Your Own Device” meeting, or simply BYOD. However, since the entire meeting experience relies totally on the user’s device and meeting software, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, this application is more often termed BYOM for “Bring Your Own Meeting,” with users simply benefiting from the available audio and video peripherals of the meeting space they are in.

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Tags: Professional AV, AVX

Not All Cables Are Created Equal

Posted by Gareth Heywood on 24 February 2021

When it comes to AV signal switching and extension over standard copper category cabling, Semtech offers two high performance platforms: AVX chipsets for point-to-point AV extension applications, and the BlueRiver® AVP series of devices for AV-over-IP and Software Defined Video Over Ethernet (SDVoE™) network-based applications. Both solutions take advantage of standard Ethernet technologies, typically operating at 10Gbps, to support transmission of high bandwidth 4K60 video with uncompressed image quality. However, when video bandwidth does not require the full 10Gbps, both AVX and AVP can operate at the 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps Ethernet rates. The benefits at operating at these lower data rates includes significantly longer cable reach over high performance category cable, or reuse of existing network cable infrastructure designed to carry lower data rate Ethernet.

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Tags: Professional AV, BlueRiver, AVX, SDVoE

From AVX to BlueRiver® AVP: Pro AV ASIC Interoperability

Posted by Gareth Heywood on 05 January 2021

It’s been almost a year since the official launch of Semtech’s ASIC platform for Pro AV extension, routing and distribution. Two dedicated platforms were launched: AVX for point-to-point AV extension applications over copper category cable and optical fiber, and the BlueRiver® AVP series of devices for AV-over-IP and Software Defined Video Over Ethernet (SDVoE™) network-based applications. And what a year it has been! Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, customer uptake and product developments have certainly exceeded expectations, and 2021 will see the launch of an exciting range of Pro AV products powered by the new AVX and BlueRiver AVP ASICs.

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Tags: Professional AV, BlueRiver, AVX, SDVoE

Discovering the BlueRiver® ASIC: Webinar Q&A

Posted by Gareth Heywood on 15 July 2020

With the launch of the BlueRiver® ASIC at the beginning of 2020, the AV over IP landscape is being redefined by products offering new levels of cost, performance and interoperability. As the core technology for Software Defined Video over Ethernet (SDVoE™), BlueRiver is recognized as the only IP-based technology capable of providing true video matrix-level performance, with pixel-perfect image quality and ultra-low latency. Supporting a broad range of markets and end-applications, such as live events, esports, medical, high-end residential, and command and control, system designers can take advantage of the powerful SDVoE Applications Programming Interface (API) to develop application-specific software running on a common BlueRiver-powered hardware platform.

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Tags: Professional AV, BlueRiver, SDVoE

Why Semtech’s New AVX ASIC Family is a Superior Solution for AV Extension

Posted by Gareth Heywood on 19 May 2020

In the world of Pro AV, point-to-point cable extension technologies are essential for transmitting AV content from point A to point B, where standard cabling just cannot go the distance. With the advent of HDMI, full bandwidth AV signals are sent in digital form at high data rates over shielded twisted pair (STP) cables, which typically max out at around 20 meters of reach. When carrying 4K video content, HDMI operates at up to six Gigabits per second (Gbps), and as data rate increases, so does the challenge of transmitting it over longer distances. Soon after HDMI transformed AV connectivity to digital, another technology was developed to extend these signals over standard copper networking infrastructure. This technology is called HDBaseT.

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Tags: Professional AV, AVX

Unveiling AVX, the ASIC for AV Extension

Posted by Gareth Heywood on 11 February 2020

For most of my career at Semtech, I’ve been responsible for SDI-based products and technology, often extolling the features and benefits of copper-based, long-reaching audio and video (AV) signals. While SDI product lines matured into a meaningful business for the Signal Integrity Products (SIP) group at Semtech, there has been significant investment and record growth in optical fiber transmission technology for enterprise computing and communications. Fiber connectivity is now the backbone of worldwide communications with SIP optical products at the heart of this fiber revolution.

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Tags: Professional AV, AVX

Meet Semtech’s New BlueRiver® ASIC Family

Posted by Gareth Heywood on 27 January 2020

In my 20 years at Semtech, I have been fortunate to have worked on many interesting products and experienced many market successes along the way. However, being a part of the first BlueRiver® ASIC development was certainly a career highlight in many ways. First, it was a treat to be immersed in the amazing and innovative technologies that are the backbone of BlueRiver: 10G Ethernet, IP networking, advanced video processing, and high speed video to name but a few! Second, I was able to explore the broad applications and plethora of use cases in the exciting Professional AV market that will be enabled by, and benefit from, the BlueRiver ASIC. And finally, I had the pleasure of working with a world class team of engineers and professionals dedicated to growing the video business in Semtech’s Signal Integrity Products Group.

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Tags: Professional AV, BlueRiver

More than a Game: Pro AV for Esports

Posted by Gareth Heywood on 20 November 2019

The world of computer gaming has come a long way since those distant days of challenging friends to beat the Frogger high score on my TRS-80 32k color computer. Back then, I could only imagine the possibilities this next generation of computer technology would enable. If I recall, back then I also wanted to be a rock star… the next Paul Stanley (don’t laugh!). Fast forward to 2019, and thanks to the Internet and social media, in the heady world of gaming and esports, you can be a “rock star” or at least as famous as one.

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Tags: Professional AV, BlueRiver, Esports

Semtech’s BlueRiver® and AVX Chipsets Impress Crowds at InfoComm

Posted by Gareth Heywood on 27 June 2019

Semtech has just returned from InfoComm 2019, professional AV’s most anticipated event of the year, which hosted more than 40,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibiting companies. Once again, the SDVoE Alliance™ booth was abuzz with interested visitors eager to learn more about Pro AV’s next step beyond the matrix switch. Software Defined Video over Ethernet (SDVoE™) solutions, enabled by Semtech’s BlueRiver® technology, were on full display with visitors being treated to many educational sessions from SDVoE Alliance representatives, as well as a head-to-head demonstration of the SDVoE-based solution versus the traditional matrix switch.

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Tags: Professional AV, Events, BlueRiver

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