Innovation of the Month

Graphics Card reloaded

Separate graphics cards can scarcely be found in embedded systems since powerfull graphics driver are placed directly onto main boards of computers. But when needs on graphical output increase, the focus is directed towards separated graphics cards again.

Researcher of the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institut (HHI) developed a peripheral device for a special application. This is a high-resolution 3D projection of real-time pictorial signals, e.g. to visualize the surface of Mars or for 3D projection at up-to-date cinemas.

The PCBs for this hardware is provided by ANDUS. This so-called CineCard is an impedance controlled multilayer board with twelve layers and more than 12’000 vias. The layout contains different impedance configurations on six signal layers. Though high-speed signals are put through, the developers of ANDUS and HHI obtained a good signal integrity even with FR4 as base material by using an adapted layout.

The high power density of massive parallel signals needs additional power sources. So, in addition to the power supply by the PCI connector, a further power supply was realized by a eSATAp connector at the other end of the PCB.

Simultaneously with increase of power supply, electronics cooling has also enhanced to avoid improper temperature rise. So ANDUS delivered design hints and customized measures.

                                    Graphics Card reloaded