Inova Semiconductors has released two new transmitter ICs, the INAP566TAQ and INAP596TAQ, both of which are new members of the APIX3 SerDes product family.

APIX (Automotive Pixel Link) is a multi-channel SerDes (Serialiser/Deserialiser) technology developed by Inova for automotive high-resolution video applications. The ICs are primarily used in vehicle cockpits and infotainment systems and the latest APIX3 generation can establish multiple display connections with a bandwidth of up to 12 Gbit/s and supports HD and Ultra HD displays.

The INAP566TAQ and INAP596TAQ transmitters are able to offer a DisplayPort 1.4 video interface. Up to four data paths with a maximum of 5.4 Gbit/s each (HBR2), as well as an AUX data channel with 1 Mbit/s, are available. In addition, the INAP596TAQ supports the encryption of audio-visual content according to the new HDCP 2.3 standard.

In terms of HDCP standardisation, the INAP596TAQ works as a so-called repeater, which means that the video encrypted by the video source is decrypted after the DisplayPort input and encrypted again according to HDCP 2.3 before being transmitted to a corresponding APIX3 receiver component. All necessary HDCP keys are stored individually in each component.

Each of the two transmitting components can establish an APIX3 link with all APIX3-compatible receivers via a QTP, STP or coaxial cable. The components support various EMC-friendly operating modes with fixed bandwidths of 1.5, 3 or 6 Gbps in single-lane mode or 3, 6 or 12 Gbps in dual-lane mode with a fixed back channel of 187.5 Mbps.

The new devices are intended for popular displays (e.g., 2880 x 1080 x 24 bit, 60 Hz) in cars. Nonetheless, video resolutions up to Ultra High Definition (UHD) and colour depths up to 30 bit are also possible. The ICs support the transmission of DSC-compressed video data.

All the devices enable the simultaneous transmission of up to eight audio channels. A special feature of the APIX technology its media-independent interface (MII, RMII) for 100 Mbit Ethernet according to the IEEE standard. An SPI interface for convenient component configuration and data transfer is also available. Switching signals can also be transmitted directly to the receiver via four existing GPIOs (General Purpose Input Output) using the APIX3 link.

The APIX3 devices are backward compatible with the APIX2 predecessor family and, like these, offer compensation functions for cable aging and temperature fluctuations.

A new feature of APIX3 is the automatic calibration (link training) of the APIX3 link to the cable medium used. This ensures very robust, stable and optimised transmission. With its many diagnostic features, APIX3 supports safety-related applications and meets the requirements of the automotive industry for electromagnetic immunity and resistance.

Typical applications for the new APIX3 chips are infotainment and entertainment systems, as well as instrument clusters and head-up displays in vehicles.

The two new APIX3 transmitters INAP566TAQ und INAP596TAQ are now available and the APIX3 technology has also been licensed to Socionext.