World demand for gaming/entertainment systems continues unabated, with forecasts showing annually rising growth rates. Next-generation televisions (UHDTV, more commonly known as 4K by consumers) keep on pushing video-signal delivery well beyond traditional high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) and high-definition (HD) rates. Emerging 4K TV technology virtually doubles previous HD resolution rates(Fig. 1).
In enterprise markets, the “Internet of Things” trend continues to the main driver with cloud, streaming and server/storage-related solutions.
Typical trends align with those of other computing and electronic devices—shrinking form factors coupled with demands for increased bandwidth and performance. New applications discussed in this article fulfill these high-speed video/data requirements by merging versatile high-speed I/O (HSIO) interconnects with high-speed, twisted-pair cable technology.
As devices become smaller and thinner while demanding more bandwidth, the main dilemma is how to accommodate larger-form-factor, high-speed input modules (e.g., high-end graphics generators) within the ever-shrinking available space of output devices. Not only do these platforms need more compact solutions, but they also require methods for maintaining a robust and reliable interconnect and meeting a wide range of performance requirements, intuitive end-user access, and versatile adaptations—all within a cost-effective model.
The main objective is to merge an output device incorporating a high-speed cable with a high-speed input device. The larger input device can then be placed in a more remote location from the output device. This input device may sometimes be referred to as a docking device, depending on the specific application (as in a gaming or video device). In an enterprise product, the input device may simply be located remotely from the output device (as in a fixed-size I/O generator and graphics processing unit).
The basic set of building blocks for these solutions combine HSIO connector technology with high-speed twisted-pair cable technology. Blending the two creates versatility that excels at meeting multiple requirements.