MXC Video Graphics Module

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The MXC form factor from WOLF Industrial Systems specifically targets the high-end video requirements of analog, digital, and broadcast SMPTE inputs and outputs, video mixing and overlay, H.264 compression, and AES encryption.

The most fundamental MXC characteristic is its size: it’s small enough to fit two modules on a 3U-sized card and four can fit on a 6U card. This isn’t simply a matter of outer dimensions, since at 85x70 mm for a Type A card, it would appear to be similar in size to a Type A MXM 3.0 card. The difference is the connector arrangement: the few extra millimeters required by the MXM card edge connector makes it impossible to fit two on a 3U card (or four on a 6U card).

The next obvious characteristic of the MXC form factor is the sheer number of pins — 500. The pin arrangement is specifically geared for graphics and video applications. Banks of signals are available for analog or digital video in and out channels and can be configured for RS170, RGB, DP, DVI, TMDS, LVDS and SMPTE (SD-SDI to 3G-SDI) video formats. Together, as many as four different video input signals can be mixed and overlaid on up to eight different video outputs.

Video output data can be simultaneously compressed, encrypted and delivered through USB 3.0, PCIe or Ethernet 10/100/1G/10G connections. VPX carriers or baseboard-level systems using multiple MXC modules can communicate using 16 lanes of switched PCIe 2.1 or separate video interconnect busses, drastically reducing the effort required to interface video data sources that weren’t necessarily designed to talk to each other.

On 3U VPX/MXC carrier boards, 32 PCIe lanes switch between the two MXC modules, enabling them to DMA each other or to communicate to the backplane. Four modules on a 6U card can work together on a sophisticated display algorithm using the bandwidth of 96 switched PCIe lanes. This PCIe interconnect provides a high-speed, efficient, standard way of moving data at 80 Gbps for 3U VPX/MXC carriers and 160 Gbps for 6U VPX/MXC carriers.
The achievable signaling speeds are drastically affected by the quality of the connector.

Video signals may need to travel at over 3 Gbps; the Generation 2 PCIe revision has doubled the original PCIe rate to 5 GT/s (Giga-transfers/second, equating to 5 Gbps for a single lane), and this speed will increase with future generations of PCIe. Because the MXC card uses a Samtec Searay connector, it can handle up to 10-Gbps signaling, providing headroom for today’s speeds and extending the useful lifetime of the card as signaling speeds increase in the future.

Finally, MXC is a rugged form factor. The Searay connector is rigid and reliable, as is the removable heat plate. Both are designed to withstand severe shock, vibration, and environmental extremes. MXC board designs conform to RIAC design standards, and MIL-STD-810 compliance, providing an overall module that will stand up to the harsh operating conditions to which these systems are likely to be subjected.


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  • Name:
    Charles Irwin
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    WOLF Industrial Systems
  • Patent status: