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Real-time Testing of UHD TVs, Monitors and Chipsets

Alfamation PVA0102 February 2018 – Alfamation introduced two new high-performance PXIe boards, which automate a wide range of testing tasks required on the production lines of UHD TV, computer monitor and other high-resolution displays. The new launched PVA-01 and PVA-04 platforms enable very detailed real-time analysis of any video content transmitted via LVDS links from the chipset on the motherboard to the display.

The continuous evolution of flat screen display technology, with ever-increasing resolutions, deep colors and higher frame rates, is placing extreme demands on design engineers for rapid and ultra-precise testing of complex components. These newly launched PVA-01 and PVA-04 platforms enable very detailed real-time analysis of any video content transmitted via LVDS links from the chipset on the motherboard to the display. Testing rates exceeding 20 Gbit/s on UHD TVs and computer monitor mainboards are now attainable, allowing electronics manufacturers to slash testing times whilst producing top-quality end products.

Alfamation comes to the market with high-performance and cost-effective solutions that are the perfect fit for high-volume video production testing applications. Human-independent, fully automated testing delivers significantly faster, far more reliable and repeatable results than the human eye, and screen size no longer plays a role. Built according to the industry-standard modular PXI Express (PXIe) platform, these boards greatly reduce outgoing manufacturing defects, enabling significant and consistent fault coverage. The PVA-01 interfaces with the parallel-clock LVDS & EPI video standards, while the PVA-04 board interfaces with the V-by-ONE™ video standard. Both cards can manage up to 8 independent channels that can be aggregated to achieve even higher resolutions and frame rates.

Sophisticated and flexible image quality assessment

Both boards benefit from Alfamation’s unique image processing technology, featuring real-time bit error rate, pixel error rate, PSNR analysis and frame capture to bring extreme levels of performance and compactness. Unlike the traditional pixel-by-pixel image comparison algorithm, the PVA-01 and PVA-04 can run sophisticated image quality assessment algorithms on any type of video input in real-time in any format supported by modern video imaging chipsets.

Mauro Arigossi, President and CEO of Alfamation, explains, “Our boards assume the role of virtual eyes that accurately and tirelessly evaluate the image quality generated by video chipsets and mainboards. Today's demanding consumers expect an unblemished immersive picture quality on their UHD TVs. Our test boards help manufacturers to deliver just that whilst keeping testing costs under control.”

The degree of flexibility to provide test methods for any type of routed chip or mainboard input video source, i.e. internally generated graphics, sourced through analog video interfaces, TV tuners or high definition HDMITM/DPTM, at very high resolution and enhanced frame rates is a key benefit. Coupled with on-the-fly video format switching capability, manufacturers can now seamlessly and comprehensively test any combination of supported input or output resolutions. Belonging to Alfamation’s Flexmedia family, the new PVA-01 and PVA-04 PXIe boards leverage the high-performance of integrated FPGAs for flexible high-speed real-time evaluation of high bandwidth digital video signals at bitrates exceeding 20 Gb/s.

High resolution, high bandwidth simultaneous testing

The aggregated test bandwidth allows processing up to 1080p at a 240 Hz frame rate, with a 30 bit per pixel color depth or 4K Ultra-HD video at 60 Hz. However, the 8 available channels may be split or aggregated in various ways for use with a single device or up to 8 devices, each at 1080i equivalent resolution. Thanks to their full compatibility with the NI LabVIEW platform, they easily integrate into any modular automated test system providing on-board result processing and a relatively quiet bus data transfer. Also, they boast a 4x Gen2 PXIe connection that supports very high bandwidth encrypted video streaming through the PXIe bus to mass storage devices for off line analysis by enabled users to support in design validation tasks.

"These new members of the Alfamation family bring not only powerful and accurate testing capabilities to manufacturers and design engineers, they also provide an unmatched level of flexibility for multiple applications," concludes Mauro Arigossi. "The PVA-01 and -04 will greatly reduce testing costs, while bringing quality assurance to a completely new level, which will, in the end, show up on the customer's bottom line."

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