Back in the analog age, there has not been a revolutionary change to video standards for years and video outputs are much simpler. Combined with underwhelming demands from users in terms of picture quality, compatibility and selection of video standards offered by manufacturers are thus relatively limited. But as things go digital, demands are on a steady climb as products diversified from the varying requirements by their users. Traditionally, if one were to set up multiplex displays, individual monitors has to be connected to the many different connectors on the graphics card, absolutely dependant on the number of interface the card has and severely limiting expandability, making the topic of creating a user friendly interface that simplify combination and operation of the related equipment all the more crucial.
As the need for transferring (media) files gradually grows in today’s electronics, the technology for high-speed transfer grows with it. Early transfer interface such as DVI, VGA, and LVDS are no longer adequate in satisfying the demand of the entire market; HDMI can be said as the first digital interface that merges both audio and video markets and was widely adopted in recent years, but owing to the lack of supervision in terms of compatibility, quality for HDMI-enabled products is inconsistent, paving the way for the open, patent-free DisplayPort interface as a replacement.
Capable of daisy-chaining, DisplayPort can create multiplex displays via the use of hubs or multiple monitors. With support for Multi-Stream Transport, DisplayPort 1.2 can connect a single DP to multiple monitors, with the catch being all monitors must similarly support DP 1.2 daisy chaining, or splitting a single DP into three using a MST hub.
In the mean time, embedded systems are gaining prominence as standards to be measured. Standards defined by VESA have already been widely supported by major chipset manufacturers such as Intel and AMD. The latest DP 1.2 are seeing a huge leap in transfer rate to 5.4 Gbps per channel with up to 4 channels amounting the rate of 21.6 Gbps. Additionally, the eDP standard - specially defined to cater to laptop computers – cuts the number of route needed on the PCB to 2 ~ 4 and greatly reduces the complexities of routing the interface, a result much welcomed by hardware manufacturers.
As interface old and new can be found in many different displays, the need to resolve the issue of interchangeability emerges so as to accommodate the requirement for VGA, LVDS, HDMI, DP, and eDP of some end-users. Also for the purpose of optimizing specific applications, AAEON’s hardware design team has overcame many hurdles including signal integrity, compatibility, and minimizing disturbances so that support for various types of displays can be found in a single product. Refer to the circuit diagram below for details.
The use of digital display interface (DDI) supplied by Intel and AMD, coupled with the NXP CBTL06GP212 switch IC as well as the appropriate SW reading mechanism, the signal source can be easily manipulated to the user’s settings and swapped to different output devices, quickly satisfying any display requirement demanded by the user with simple, convenient steps.
With ample design prowess, AAEON’s R&D team imbues its products with the relevant capabilities to fully materialize the varied requirements for multiplex display.