A couple of years ago the Florida cable manufacturer Tributaries Cable began working with Jeff Boccaccio and DPL Labs to better ensure the performance of its products. Recently the company added to its stable of DPL Labs certified products with the introduction of its Aurora active fiber optic HDMI cables.
Boccaccio and Tributaries explains that with Ultra HD 4K at 60Hz with 10-bit color and HDR now available from sources such as the new Samsung and Philips Ultra Blu-ray disc players, the need to support high-bandwidth 18Gbps is immediate.
“Over the last year DPL has had the privilege testing several types of fiber optic cable products designed to support 18Gbps of throughput,” notes Jeff Boccaccio. “Unfortunately none of them were able to pass DPL minimums. Finally a new hybrid AOC [active optical cable] was submitted for testing that had outstanding performance up to and, including 30 meters.”
The hybrid HDMI line of products includes a glass design that transports the video/audio/clock and control signals, while the copper portion of the products carry the Digital Display Channel (DDC) that is responsible for the two-way communication of EDID and HDCP.
The cables' components are efficiently housed in their connector head shells. Power is provided via a USB connection that is delivered by a separate 5-volt power supply or USB port.
Tributaries says the brains of the active cables was originally developed for military applications with an optical microchip encased in a HDMI souce connector.
Embedded within the microchip are four vertical-cavity surfacing-emitting lasers (VCSELs), along with semiconductor-based laser diodes that emit an optical beam perpendicular to the fiber surface.
Each TMDS modulated beam is then reflected off a mirror and sent into a multi mode fiber optic glass material that produces four TMDS optic channels. OM3 (10Gig) cladding reflects the channels. The sink-end connector houses the photo diode receptors that decode the TMDS modulated light beams to convert the signals back to electrical signals.
The Orlando-based company adds the hybrid active fiber cables are available in a range of sizes that span from 10 meters/33 feet ($1,350) to 30 meters/98.4 feet ($1,950).