Studer: High-capacity interface futureproofs audio transport13 September 2014
The new A-Link digital audio interface system has been unveiled, designed to connect the huge number of audio channels supported by the Infinity Core DSP of the new Vista X console. Studer has also announced that Evertz now includes A-Link as a standard direct interface into its range of router products.
A-Link is a fibre-based audio interface that uses a 3 GBit/s data rate to offer 1,536, 32-bit audio channels per single fibre connection. Studer said this ultra-high capacity link provides more than enough capacity for today’s audio systems but, by using such a fast data transport, will allow audio systems to grow in the future without having to change interface standards.
The A-Link interface uses standard SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) optical interfaces. These interfaces are widely used in the telecoms industry and a huge range of compatible modules are available, offering multimode and single mode operations with wavelengths from 800nm to 1600nm and distances of up to 80km without repeaters.
The new Studer Infinity Core DSP engine offers 12 of the new A-Link ports on a PCI-express card, capable of over 5,000 inputs and 5,000 outputs for the huge I/O interface counts required of the new processing engine. A newly designed, D23m high-density I/O system is used to break out these A-Link connections to standard analogue, digital and video interfaces.
New A-Link DSP cards are available for the Studer SCore Live DSP engine and can be retrofitted to existing systems.
The A-Link interface also provides direct connection to the MediorNet distributed router, allowing multiple Infinity Cores to be connected together. The interface to Evertz routers is in the form of a simple single fibre cable connection, providing 640 channels of ‘zero latency’ digital audio between the console and the video router (equivalent to 10 MADI connections). Studer said this direct connection not only saves installation time, but also removes the need for AES or MADI interface frames, thus saving significant space and heat; both important considerations in OB van installations.