FLEX is the DELTACAST revolutionary solution answering the questions of flexibility, high density, scalability and redefining video interfacing.
With FLEX, your appliance will benefit from a versatile high-density connectivity surpassing any solution on the market based on a single PCI Express card.
Do you need more than 8 SDI input and output channels, more than 2 DisplayPort channels, more than 2 HDMI channels on a single low-profile PCIe slot?
Do your uses cases require supporting a mix of these types of interface on a single card? Does this mix change from deployment to deployment of the same machine?
If so, the FLEX solution brings you a unique and future-proof answer.
The FLEX solution is a combination of a PCI Express gateway card and of video I/O modules connected to the gateway card through specific cables.
Video I/O modules can be used as floating devices, can be fixed within your homemade computer case, or can be integrated in a DELTACAST 19-inch FLEX rack.
DELTA-GWY is the gateway card you plug in a PCI Express slot of your appliance.
4 models of DELTA-GWY are available;
- DELTA-GWY 316-8 featuring eight ports and a 16 lanes PCIe connector
- DELTA-GWY 316-4 featuring four ports and a 16 lanes PCIe connector
- DELTA-GWY 308-8 featuring eight ports and a 8 lanes PCIe connector
- DELTA-GWY 308-4 featuring four ports and a 8 lanes PCIe connector
Each of the ports available on the DELTA-gwy card allows a connection to one of the numerous input and output modules available.
- Input / Capture:
- FLEX-12G 10 : 4-input 3G or single-input 12G SDI module
- FLEX-DP 10 : Single-input DisplayPort 1.2 module
- FLEX-HMI 10 : Single-input HDMI 2.0 module
- Output / Playout:
- FLEX-12G 01 : 4-output 3G or single-output 12G SDI module
- FLEX-DP 01 : Single-output DisplayPort 1.2 module
- FLEX-HMI 01 : Single-output HDMI 2.0 module
Each module is an independent device that manages one or several video channels.
Other modules are in development and will complete the family very soon (contact us for further details).
As with all its other products, DELTACAST has taken care to integrate FLEX into its unified VideoMaster SDK, so each module is just seen like a normal PCIe card plugged into your server.
By integrating FLEX in your appliance, you also have access to all others cards available in the DELTACAST product catalog.
FLEX-12G 10 – 4-input 3G-SDI / 1-input 12G-SDI module FLEX-12G 01 – 4-output 3G-SDI / 1-output 12G-SDI module
FLEX-DP 10 – Single DisplayPort 1.2 capture module FLEX-DP 01 – Single DisplayPort 1.2 output module
FLEX-HMI 10 – Single-input HDMI 2.0 module FLEX-HMI 01 – Single-output HDMI 2.0 module
Each FLEX modules connect with an individual cable to ports of the DELTA-GWY gateway card.
In order to offer maximum flexibility in the design of your appliance's connectivity, each FLEX module is available in different mechanical formats.
Therefore, the video input and output ports can be assembled in the most appropriate way according the form factor of your solution.
They are available in different mechanical options to offer maximum flexibility in your final product assembly :
- As an integrated module, the module comes as a little box that can be either floating or attached anywhere around your server thanks to different mounting holes.
- As an internal component, the module only includes a top cover which is actually its passive cooling solution. In this form, the module is generally mounted inside your product enclosure.
- Several modules can be assembled together in a 19'' rack unit (1U or 2U) for fixed installations.
Output modules synchronization
FLEX-12G modules host a traditional analog genlock reference input to seamlessly integrate within a broadcast production facility.
Genlock is less used in conjunction with HDMI and DisplayPort technologies, while some applications require to synchronize multiple output signals together (split screen and video walls feed, as an example).
DELTACAST answered that need and went one step beyond on the FLEX solution, with its frame accurate synchronization feature.
In this mode, the DELTA-gwy card emits a reference tick used by all the connected output modules so that they are perfectly synchronized with each others in frequency as well as in phase. Additionally, when running in this mode, VideoMaster allows synchronizing all the output channels up to the frame, to deliver temporally consistent content to a series of devices.
An historical evolution
Continuously increasing computer processing power allows handling more and more sources in parallel, with larger and larger resolutions. The maximum amount of signals a server can handle is so high that it is generally limited by the amount of capture channels that mechanically fit the computer chassis, rather than by the available internal resources.
In 2012, DELTACAST revolutionized the world of video interface cards, allowing up to 8 channels on a low-profile PCI Express card.
This compact eight-channel configuration quickly became a standard.
Of course, CPU and GPU processing power continues evolving and the limiting factor is again the amount of cards you can plug in the computer and the size of the connectors on the mechanical bracket.
Another trend in the market is to take the maximum profit from a hardware investment, by using it for multiple purposes. A server is a completely generic processing machine, and dedicating it to a single use case, potentially not being used 24/7, is not giving the best return on investment.
Using the same machine in different contexts often requires a great flexibility in terms of video interface technologies, especially in the Pro AV market: DisplayPort and HDMI sources are more prevalent in use cases like corporate events, education and installation, while SDI is often used as soon as you have got to connect your server to a video production facility.
DELTACAST closely looked at these market evolutions and created the FLEX family of products.