HDMI to APIX2 bridge chip supports dual in-car video streams

February 23, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Inova Semiconductors' (Munich, Germany) INAP560T is a high-speed digital multi-channel transmitter for video in vehicles. Typical applications will include infotainment, head units, rear seat entertainment systems, multimedia gateways, head-up displays and cluster instruments.

The INAP560T provides transmission at up to 3 Gbps, supporting video resolutions up to 720p at 60 fps, or 1080p at 30 fps, with up to 24-bit colour depth. The device acts as an HDMI to APIX2 bridge, and is able to transmit two video streams over a single HDMI 1.4 compliant video interface, utilising the HDMI 3D functionality. The INAP560T is optimised for use with Inova’s INAP375R deserialiser and other third-party APIX receiver devices.

A second variant, INAP590T, includes two HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) encryption engines and integrated HDCP keys. These are required for transmitting encoded video and audio over the APIX2 link, for example when copy-protected movies are played in a car.

Though being an APIX2 device the INAP560T is based on Inova’s next-generation APIX3 (Automotive Pixel Link) multi-channel SerDes (serialiser/deserialiser) technology for high resolution in-car video applications. It already provides a built-in 12 Gbps test mode, and it is pin-compatible with Inova’s forthcoming APIX3 family devices. This enables engineers to create future-proof designs that can be migrated to APIX3 when devices become available.

“With 40 million APIX devices deployed in cars, Inova has set the standard for fast, reliable automotive video transmission,” said Thomas Rothhaupt, Director Sales & Marketing at Inova Semiconductors. “This new device provides a further extension of our capabilities, as well as providing an easy upgrade path to our next-generation APIX3 technology.”

Built in temperature and cable ageing compensation schemes ensure robust data transmission, and an embedded AShell protocol provides automatic error correction. For reliable operation, the device includes diagnostic features including open and short detection schemes, as well as built in self-test capabilities.

Besides video, the INAP560T provides independent full-duplex data communication channels. Media Independent Interfaces (MII/RMII) mean that the INAP560T can directly connect to standard 100 Mbit Ethernet media access controllers. The APIX2 link can also be used for SPI and I²C data communication, GPIOs for reset or synchronisation, or up