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SuperMHL Chips Arrive on the Scene

When superMHL was first unveiled back in January at CES, one of the main unanswered questions was, “When will we see this in actual products?” As is normally the case with this type of new technology, the answer is strongly related to when semiconductors capable of handling the new format will be available; it was simply too early to get that information back in Las Vegas.

Now have part of the answer about where superMHL stands with regard to “productization” with the announcement by Lattice Semiconductor that it has released the world’s first superMHL solutions that use USB Type-C for connectivity.

As a recap, while the current HDMI standard caps out at 18Gbps, superMHL has the capability to go all the way to 72Gbps so that it is able to carry 7680×4320/120fps (“8K”) video with 12-bit color using 4:2:0 or any other format combination that requires that bandwidth. Indeed, the announced premise for superMHL was specifically to facilitate 8K for some of the displays at CES.

The chips just announced are limited such that they cannot deliver that speed, but they can deliver HDMI 2.0a compatible performance with HDCP 2.2 with 600MHz/18Gbps specs for all current HDMI configurations. Even more, these chips can carry Rec. BT-2020 (wide color gamut), High Dynamic Range, and 35 object-based audio channels over a single lane

For more, see Residential Systems.