Irish firm boosts high-def cable speeds to 3.4Gbps

22 Apr 2008

A Dublin semiconductor company has brought out the world’s first high- definition multimedia interface (HDMI) cable capable of transferring data at a rate of 3.4Gbps, giving it a major stake in the future of home entertainment.

North Dublin-based RedMere Technology, which in recent months struck a deal with US firm Fairchild Semiconductor to jointly develop HDMI products for use in devices like Blu-ray video players, said the technology will be important for future TV manufactures.

The company has introduced the world’s first switch and repeater products to include integrated programmable CEC microcontroller and EDID memory at speeds of up to 3.4Gbps.

All switch and repeater products include RedMere’s Cable MagnifEye equalisation technology designed to recover signals over the full frequency range from non-compliant or long cables offering an extremely robust solution to the TV manufacturer.

Performance at the maximum HDMI operating speed of 3.4Gbps enables support for 1080p 16-bit deep colour, whereas the 2.25Gbps solution provides support for 1080p 12-bit colour. High-end audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD are supported.

The design focuses on minimising high definition television (HDTV) system power consumption. Inactive switch input terminations are automatically disabled to reduce power.

The ability of the RM1831 to provide an EDID to both active and inactive sources even in standby, together with the innovative CEC controller, ensure seamless operation for the end user independent of whether the TV is in standby or active mode.

Last year, RedMere signed an agreement with the world’s largest connector manufacturer Molex to incorporate its chip-in-a-cable technology into high-performance HDMI cable assemblies.

Future HDMI cable assemblies from Molex will incorporate RedMere’s RM1689 cable booster chipset. HDMI is emerging as one of the predominant new technologies that will replace SCART cables and will enable the next generation of flat screen TVs and other home entertainment systems.

RedMere is one of Ireland’s fastest-growing indigenous electronics companies targeting the burgeoning consumer electronics market.

Last year, the company raised an additional US$5m in venture capital, bringing to US$13.5m the amount it has raised in the past six months. The top-up investment in Balbriggan-based RedMere was led by Edgestone Capital Partners, a Canadian private equity firm, along with additional re-investment by the original investors, including Celtic House Venture Partners.

By John Kennedy