Programmable bridging device resolves interface mismatches

17th May 2016
Nat Bowers

Lattice Semiconductor has announced the industry’s first Lattice CrossLink programmable bridging device that supports leading protocols for mobile image sensors and displays. The CrossLink device combines the flexibility and fast time-to-market of an FPGA with the power and functional optimisation of an ASSP to create a new product class called programmable ASSP (pASSP).

As the first product in this category, the CrossLink device is a low cost video interface bridge with the highest bandwidth, lowest power and smallest footprint. This makes it the optimal solution for virtual reality headsets, drones, smartphones, tablets, cameras, wearable devices and HMIs.

Carl Hibbert, Associate Director of Entertainment Content and Delivery, Futuresource Consulting, commented: “The latest wave of image capture and display technology, including drones and VR, is creating real industry excitement. Combining these new technologies with a global base of 3.7bn smartphones and tablets that’s set to rise more than 30% by 2020, all equates to a wide variety of interfaces that must be integrated to ensure compatibility. The ability to manage these interfaces through a low cost, low power and small footprint bridging solution is essential.”

Image sensor applications

Lattice’s CrossLink bridge can multiplex, merge and arbitrate between multiple image sensors to a single input. The device can also interface between high-end industrial and popular A/V image sensors with mobile application processors. This is suited for 360, action, surveillance and DSLR cameras along with drones, augmented reality products and more.

Display applications

With the CrossLink device, it is possible to receive video data from one MIPI DSI interface and send it out over two MIPI DSI interfaces at half the bandwidth. The same video stream can be split to two interfaces, which is ideal for VR headsets and mobile set top boxes. Customers can also integrate consumer and industrial panels with RGB or LVDS interfaces with mobile applications processors. The CrossLink bridge can convert from MIPI DSI to multiple lanes of CMOS or LVDS interfaces such as MIPI DPI, OpenLDI and proprietary interface formats for HMIs, smart displays, smart homes and more.

“The CrossLink bridge has the flexibility of an FPGA and the performance of an ASSP for video technologies. Our product has a variety of applications for high-volume growth segments that demand fast, flexible innovation and solves the pressing challenge of having too many incompatible interfaces on one device,” added C.H. Chee, Senior Director of Consumer Product Marketing, Lattice Semiconductor.

CrossLink evaluation boards are available now from Lattice and its distributors and production devices will be available shortly.

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