Valens Semiconductor's HDBaseT™ Enables 5Play™ Convergence via a Single Cable for In-Home High Definition Connectivity

Monday, December 8th, 2008

HOD HASHARON, ISRAEL — With the growth of high definition, consumers are looking for a better way to provide point-to-point connectivity and multimedia distribution in the home entertainment environment.

Currently, consumer electronics (CE) devices in the home require multiple cables connected to multiple connectors to enable the critical elements of 5Play™ convergence – uncompressed video, audio, Internet, power over cable and various control signals. For end users, installing four or five cables can be costly. From the CE manufacturer standpoint, the market is shifting towards thin displays and the burden of supporting multiple connectors is significant.

Valens Semiconductor, a fabless semiconductor company, is introducing its HDBaseT™ technology, enabling a single LAN cable to replace multiple cables and connectors. HDBaseT is optimized for video application and can connect all the entertainment devices at home by providing the 5Play convergence of 8Gbps of uncompressed full HD digital video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power over cable and various control signals.

In addition to reducing the number of cables required, HDBaseT uses low-cost single standard Cat-5e/6 cable, the easiest cable to install with the highest reliability and robustness. HDBaseT also connects equipment that is up to 100m/328ft apart and uses the existing RJ-45 connector that is widely available.

“Each individual element of 5Play convergence is crucial to delivering multimedia in the home, but it doesn’t make sense to require one cable for video and audio, one cable for Internet, another cable for power and an additional cable for the different controls. HDBaseT is revolutionary because it makes it possible to offer each element in every CE device, replacing multiple cables with a single LAN cable that saves money, provides higher reliability and enables longer distances,” said Dror Jerushalmi, CEO, Valens Semiconductor.

Valens’ HDBaseT is the first technology to enable 5Play convergence that consists of the following elements and their importance in the CE multimedia distribution.

Full HD Uncompressed Video
CE devices must be able to send uncompressed digital video that is characterized with high throughput up to 8Gbps over long distance using a single cable that is cheap, easy to install, reliable and standardized. Uncompressed content is important because it supports all video sources, including legacy products, accurately renders gaming graphics and features such as Electronic Program Guides, and does not degrade video quality or add latency.

Audio is an essential part of every CE device. HDMI has set the standard being the first connectivity standard to send audio and video over the same cable.

100BaseT Ethernet
Across the CE industry, leading players are revamping audio and video equipment for a future centered around the Internet. This is critical for enabling a world in which televisions, stereos, computers and other CE devices can communicate with each other and access all sorts of multimedia content, such as video, pictures and music stored around the house.

Power Over Cable
When it comes to installing CE devices, it is essential to have the flexibility of placing equipment without worry over the power source. HDBaseT uses existing Power of Ethernet (PoE) technology and the next generation PoE+ to source low consuming CE devices and eliminate the need for external power cables.

Various Control Signals
At the center of every multimedia distribution system, from basic point-to-point connectivity to a multi-source/display system, is the ability to send control signals. Different types of control signals have different purposes, starting from CEC that operates basic functionality such as power-on, power-off and play/stop with a press of a button, to RS232/USB and IR that operate remote equipment even when it is located in a different room.