Analog front ends eye flat displays

Milpitas, Calif. – Xicor Inc.'s X98000 line of five high-speed analog front ends is said to provide the performance needed for high-resolution flat-panel monitors, LCD projectors and high-definition televisions. The fastest product, the high-end X98027, operates at up to 275 Msamples/second. The other four devices in the new family operate at 240, 210, 170 and 140 Msamples/s.

Each analog front end in the family has three independent 8-bit channels to capture the red, green and blue or YPbPr component-video signals sent from personal computers, workstations, DVD players or video set-top boxes. The devices combine high performance and low-noise signal processing with a low-jitter digital phase-locked loop of 250 picoseconds peak to peak (at 275 Msamples/s) to produce ultrasharp high-resolution images, according to Xicor.

The three analog-front-end channels have high linearity and matching for superior gray-scale performance, the company said. A very high-input bandwidth yields ultrasharp images even at QXGA pixel rates, according to Xicor.

Additional peaking control can restore image sharpness when long cable lengths are used. An automatic black-level compensation circuit eliminates offset errors due to mismatch and drift.

The internal digital PLL has 64 phase steps with high linearity, in comparison to a maximum of 32 phase steps in competitive products, the company said. The X98000 family is said to be easy to program and has low sensitivity to pc-board noise.

The X98027 is Xicor's flagship product, targeted at high-resolution QXGA (2,048 x 1,536-pixel) displays, said Fred Hamilton, director of technical marketing for Xicor's display products.

Key specs

Other key specs for the unit are its 64 interpixel sampling positions, programmable analog input bandwidth from 100 MHz to 780 MHz, automatic black-level compensation for continuous offset calibration and 1.4-volt peak-to-peak analog input range. It has a two-channel input multiplexer. The X98027 also supports QXGA resolution up to a refresh rate of 60 Hz.

The X98024 supports WUXGA resolution (1,920 x 1200), the X98021 supports UXGA (1,600 x 1,200), the X98017 supports WSXGA (1,536 x 1,024) and the X98014 supports SXGA (1,280 x 1,024) and all lower resolutions.

Samples are available now, with production scheduled for the fourth quarter. Pricing for the X98014 analog front end starts at $9 in lots of 1,000.

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