Quellan Inc. (Quellan), a US based developer of analog integrated circuits, has introduced a semiconductor product line, Q:Active Media Interconnect. Q:Active Media Interconnect is a complete product line that is based on the small, low power and high density integrated circuits. The QLx4270-DP delivers 10.4 Gbps DisplayPort connectivity in a 4x7mm package and is available currently in production quantities.

The company has also demonstrated these chips delivering 10.2 Gbps full bandwidth DisplayPort over 40 gauge copper interconnects that are thinner than a human hair – enabling an entirely new class of micro-miniature rich media connections for consumer devices.

The Media Interconnect market comprises of the high bandwidth cable connections between laptops, high resolution displays, storage devices, HDTV’s, media players and cameras and will exceed 2 billion cable shipments in 2012 according to Fleck Research. This growth is fueled by the migration of HDMI and Display port to Ultra Mobile Laptops, Handsets and Media Players which will utilize new low profile “micro” HDMI and DisplayPort connections that are much smaller profile than can be supported by conventional “thick” passive cables.

Conventional interconnects are comprised of bulky connectors and thick copper cable to propagate signals at high speeds. Quellan’s devices embed inside the cable connector where they dramatically improve interconnect performance by removing impairments such as skew, attenuation, group delay and crosstalk. The electronic removal of these impairments inside the connector allows for the use of tiny connectors and cheaper, ultra-thin gauge cable. The miniaturization is possible because the devices are entirely analog and implemented in CMOS process technology.

The resultant performance is impressive. HDMI and DisplayPort interconnects – along with their new miniaturized variants – can run up to five meters on “active” copper cabling that is 10 times thinner in cross sectional area than conventional passive cables. SuperSpeed USB (USB3.0) users will be able to reach 10 meters on new active interconnects measuring just 2mm in diameter.

“Quellan’s technology is a major breakthrough at a time when thin copper interconnects are becoming extremely critical in the consumer market,” said Ken Fleck of Fleck Research and veteran of the interconnect industry. “Their approach will yield thinner, longer more flexible copper connections to the delight of consumers, retailers and OEM’s.”

The QLx3300-16B delivers HDMI for active cables and media switch devices in a 4x7mm package and is sampling this quarter. The device supports current and legacy versions of HDMI and exceeds the bandwidth requirements of HDMI 1.3 by more than 100%, supporting future 4K2K and 3DTV industry efforts. The QLx1600 is designed for SuperSpeed USB (USB3.0) in a tiny 3x3mm package and is now available in sample and limited production quantities. Reference designs and manufacturing kits are also available.

“Dramatic increases in display resolution and storage density are driving up bandwidth between consumer devices to unsurpassed levels making the connections to displays, HDTVs and disk drives bulky, expensive and lacking in consumer appeal,” said Tony Stelliga, chief executive officer of Quellan “Our Media Interconnect chips embed inside the cable connector to enable active microHDMI, miniDisplayPort and USB cables that are ultra-thin with a consumer look and feel for the rapidly expanding consumer media marketplace.”