Analogue front end takes
imaging to HD levels
A new analogue front end for high-performance imaging applications offers a 30% improvement in signal conversion performance over its predecessors, clocking at speeds up to 65Msample/s
Analog Devices is extending its portfolio of analogue front ends (AFEs) for high-performance imaging applications with the introduction of a device that offers a 30% improvement in signal conversion performance, clocking at speeds up to 65Msample/s using very low power (155mW), and a 75% reduction in board space.
These aggressive performance, power and size specifications are necessary to capture high-definition (HD) content and enable the advanced capabilities that consumers are seeking in today's HD camcorders.
Canon has already selected the AD9970 for its new HDV XL H1 camcorder, which enables high-quality video production at a cost accessible to numerous audiences, including commercial and general consumer users.
Designers of today's high-performance HD imaging applications are challenged with sampling CCD (charge coupled device) or CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) imager signals at a rate exceeding 50Msample/s.
The resulting solutions suffer from power dissipation and size limitations, as well as increased cost.
However, Analog Devices has alleviated these problems with the AD9970 AFE, which addresses these issues with its ideal performance, power and size.
Camcorders that use this technology can therefore offer the same resolution and HD quality at price points that make them more accessible to a wider audience.
According to design engineers at Canon, the AD9970 was instrumental in allowing the company to reduce component count and power consumption without sacrificing a brilliant HD image.
Analog Devices' technical excellence and design expertise enabled Canon to meet the demanding image processing requirements needed to provide a high-quality solution for its next-generation HDV XL H1 camcorder.
Designed for consumer imaging products such as camcorders and digital still cameras, the AD9970 serves as a complete AFE consisting of a CDS (correlated double sampler), a variable gain amplifier, an ADC (analogue-to-digital convertor), as well as a high-performance programmable timing driver.
Each component plays a role in conditioning and digitising the signal from the CCD.
The AD9970 is also one of the first AFEs on the market to use a LVDS (low-voltage differential signalling) interface for high-definition imaging equipment.
This feature significantly reduces the number of high-speed data outputs, resulting in a smaller package, increased performance and reduced cost required to shield for EMI (electromagnetic interference).
Too much EMI in an electronic system can result in harmful interference in radio communications and must be either eliminated or reduced within a certain level or the product cannot be sold under rules enforced by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission).
'Gone are the days when only movie studios and professional film makers could afford high-quality HD camcorders', said Stuart Boyd, Product Line Director, High-Speed Signal Processing Business, Analog Devices.
'By combining our data conversion, amplifier and timing expertise in a single chip design, ADI's new AD9970 AFE is a solution that reduces component count and cost while maintaining the level of performance and image processing required for today's HD consumer imaging products'.
'This is the first in a family of products we anticipate will make HD camcorders more widely available to the general consumer'.
The AD9970 consists of a 14bit ADC operating at a very low-power dissipation of 155mW at 65Msample/s.
Also incorporated in the device are a VGA (variable gain amplifier) and CDS, which are responsible for conditioning and digitising the signal.
The programmable timing driver, dubbed Precision Timing, further increases performance by enabling precise and localised control of high-speed CCD clock signals.
An LVDS interface, responsible for handling the signal output, reduces EMI shielding requirements and significantly reduces package size (5 x 5mm).
The Canon HDV XL H1 camcorder features customisable settings and a well-balanced design that enables the creative control, flexibility and advanced capabilities sought in today's HD camcorders.
The AD9970 AFE is available now in full production.
The device is priced at $10.74 per unit in 1000-piece quantities in a space-saving 5 x 5mm LFCSP (lead-frame chip-scale package) and is specified over an operating temperature range of -25 to +85C.
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