Gigabit Video Interface Standard
The Gigabit Video Interface is a system for transmitting high rate digitized video serialized into a one-bit serial data stream from a source, such as a Graphics Controller or DVD, to a sink, such as a CRT or LCD display. Originally developed in 1998 as a way to deliver digital video to flat panel displays targeted for the desktop personal computer (PC) market, Sony's GVIF was the world's first single differential line digital video transmission system that was productized for the mass consumer market. From the start, GVIF was optimized for ultra-portable devices requiring the smallest size and weight cabling. Other competing standards, including DVI and OpenLDI, required multiple pairs of differential signals which resulted in thick cables. Digital Visual Interface (DVI), backed by the Digital Display Working Group and based on Silicon Image's Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) protocol, makes use of four differential signals. OpenLDI, originally proposed by National Semiconductor and based on Low Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS), became popular in the notebook PC market and used five differential lines for single pixel formats and ten differential lines for dual pixel formats. With support from Intel, DVI and its successor HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) eventually became the defacto world wide standard for interface of PC's to flat panel displays and projectors.
Although Gigabit Video Interface technology was originally developed for the consumer and IT markets, the GVIF product line has migrated to focus primarily on automotive video products. GVIF is uniquely suited for the car due to its use of thin cables requiring only one differential pair. The GVIF specification is available separately, but the following chapter provides an overview of GVIF technology and the family of integrated circuits developed to implement this interface.