Posted by Navraj Nandra on September 9th, 2013
Targetted for the next generation of digital televisions – known as “Ultra HDTV’s”; HDMI 2.0 has finally arrived after being in works for about 2 years by the broad group of companies in HDMI forum.
The arrival of HDMI 2.0 is very timely for the wide rollout of this new generation of Ultra HDTVs. Since its debut in 2002, every major revision of HDMI specification had a key driving theme, for example, HDMI 1.3 offered higher bandwidth for deep color modes, HDMI 1.4 offered 3D modes etc. The main theme behind HDMI 2.0 is 18 Gbps bandwidth to support 4K resolution at 60Hz frame rate for the ultra-high definition experience. With backwards compatibility as the basic underlying requirement, HDMI 2.0 will offer a broad array of new and exciting features. Here is the summary of new features offered by HDMI 2.0.
- 4K x 2K Mode @ 60Hz, 24-bit color, for the ultra-high definition experience
- Increase in bandwidth from 10.2 Gbps to 18 Gbps aggregate (3.4 Gbps to 6 Gbps per lane) to support the ultra-high definition video formats
- Support for TMDS scrambling above 10.2Gbps data rate to reduce Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI)
- New colorimetry formats such as YCbCr 4:2:0 to offer a visual loss-less ultra-high definition experience with half the required bandwidth
- New 21:9 frame formats for true cinema experience
- Low level error detection to account for cable characteristics
- Multi-stream audio and video for new gaming and infotainment applications
- Up to 32 channels of audio for high end home theatre systems
- High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE-AAC) to support lossy data compression scheme for digital audio (MPEG-4 audio profile)
- Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) 2.0 that offers unified remote control for ease of use and improved user experience
As the interface of choice for multimedia devices, the HDMI standard will continue to evolve, offering new features, functionality and higher bandwidth to meet the needs of future applications. The advent of HDMI forum has fostered innovation and lead to broader industry participation. HDMI 2.0 is the first revision that has been architected by this broad group of companies in the forum and offers a plethora of innovative features with potential to revolutionize the home theatre systems by offering cinema quality experience in the comfort of your home. Yet there are other features offered by HDMI 2.0 that will lead to broader adoption of HDMI in industrial, office and gaming applications. We shall soon see the first impact of HDMI 2.0 as the 4K DTV will begin to hit the shelves in next couple of months. Eventually a lot of these features offered by HDMI 2.0 will become “check boxes” while the forum will continue to work on new innovative features and the process of evolution will continue.
Synopsys had been a part of HDMI forum since its very inception and had played an active role towards defining the next generation HDMI by bringing the perspective of our broad range of IP customers. Our active participation in the forum also allowed us to develop our HDMI 2.0 solutions, while the specification was being baked. Hours after the announcement of HDMI 2.0, we were able to demo our version 2.0 compliant TX/RX solutions to lead customers in APAC. In fact, we had announced “Industry’s 1st 4K Eyes” in December 2012 to select forum members that we had been working with for next generation DTV SoCs.