Technology Trends: CRTs use digital interfaces to produce sharper images

The last remaining holdout in the desktop digital revolution—the ubiquitous CRT monitor—is going digital.

Nov 1st, 1999

The last remaining holdout in the desktop digital revolution—the ubiquitous CRT monitor—is going digital. At the August 1999 Intel Developer Forum in Palm Springs, CA, leading CRT makers Acer (San Jose, CA), NEC (Itasca, IL), Samsung (Ridgefield Park NJ), and ViewSonic (Walnut, CA) demonstrated digital CRTs made possible by two new ICs from Silicon Image (Cupertino, CA).

"The DVI specification opens the door for a new class of 'intelligent' displays with improved quality," said Steve Spina, Strategic Initiatives manager at Intel (Santa Clara, CA) and secretary of the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG). "Silicon Image's delivery of DVI silicon for digital CRTs will accelerate the adoption of the DDWG's DVI spec."

The digital CRTs, based on the DVI specification, were powered by two Silicon Image chips: the SiI 164 transmitter IC and a CRT-specific receiver/controller chip, the SiI 901 digital visual controller. These devices provide the 5 Gbits/s bandwidth required for SXGA and UXGA resolutions (see p.36).

"Silicon Image has enabled the digital display market with PanelLink technology including digital CRTs. Digital displays deliver a sharper image, reduce costs, and provide new functionality," said Marc McConnaughey, vice president of technology and sourcing for ViewSonic. "As a provider of display technologies, ViewSonic plans to launch its first DVI-compliant, digital CRT display soon and deliver digital CRTs at similar prices to analog CRTs by the end of 2000."

Silicon Image, whose PanelLink Digital and newer Digital Visual Controller (DVC) technologies were used in the displays, first introduced the all-digital video interface for flat-panel monitors. The DDWG subsequently adopted the PanelLink protocol as a component of the DVI standard.

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