Video data rates have quadrupled in the last five years. To support these data rates the bandwidths of transmission media needs to keep pace. For example the current video standard (HDMI) requires that a cable is capable of transmitting at 10.2Gbps. This data rate with a bit time of 297 Pico-seconds on each of 3 channels demands considerable performance from the cable. With this performance requirement there is an increased need for quality in the cable materials. Even more important is that there is now a requirement for in-production test and characterization to guarantee the data integrity in the cable.

Active Cable Tester Equipment & SoftwareRedMere’s VerifEye active cable test platform enables the rapid testing of active cable solutions based on RedMere’s chip technology. It provides a fool-proof, rapid manufacturing test so that active cables operating at speeds up to 10Gbps may be tested on the production line in 1.8 seconds.

The VerifEye platform comprises two technology elements. The first is a high-speed test and measurement block embedded in the RedMere chips. This on-chip function is a patented, at-speed eye quality monitor embedded within the devices. The second function resides in the VerifEye manufacturing test system which interfaces directly with the unit under test (UUT) and provides immediate pass and fail indications to the line operator.

By embedding the complex, high-speed test functions in the UUT rather than the hardware tester, the VerifEye hardware platform is a low-cost alternative to the expensive multi-Gbps test systems typically in use.

The unit supports two software modes – VerifEye Line (for use in a production environment) and VerifEye Lab (for use in cable R&D). VerifEye carries out a continuity test, configures the IC with optimal settings, and finally reports on the final quality of each pair of data lines in the HDMI cable. It achieves this is less than five seconds. This sequence seals the quality of each cable during the production process and removes the defects guaranteed with statistical process control.

The software reports and records cable performance and using devices allows cable designs to be tuned in a development environment. The unit also provides statistical analysis from the production line to support yield and quality improvements.