I got many e-mails from people who want to use A13-OLinuXino as home multimedia center and intend to port different media players on it. All they ask can Olimex add HDMI to this board???
I did a little research and actually there are cheap HDMI transceivers which could take the LCD-RGB signals and convert them to HDMI.
One of these ICs is SIL9022A for instance, it seems perfect and we could easily build HDMI shield with it which to connects to the GPIO connector where the LCD signals are present and to make easy connection with HDMI TVs and other appliances.
Silicon Image, the company which produce SIL9022A is very skinny on datasheet and info for this IC though.
I did request info about it and this is what I got as reply:
To provide you with the requested data it is essential to get more detailed information regarding your project.
The whole documentation is under NDA. Please find attached the NDA-Request. Please fill out very carefully.
The most important information are those of the project. After receiving the filled NDA-Request will we forward it to the manufacturer who will generate the data and the agreement.
For using the requested ICs is it binding to be a HDMI licensee. This licensing is related to a yearly fee of 10.000US$ for HDMI-Membership.
The procedure will be directly executed by the HDMI organization. Further information can be found by the help of the following links: http://www.hdmi.org/
So if we have to build the HDMI shield we will have to pay $10 000 yearly fee to may buy the chips 8-)
For A10 processor which have build-in HDMI I guess this licensee is paid by the SoC vendor i.e. Allwinner, as there is no requirement to have HDMI membership in order to buy these processors and make something with them.
So we may drop the idea for HDMI output for A13 and leave the HDMI output for the next A10-OLinuXino which we will develop after we finish with A13 ;)
After posting this article I did some more search for HDMI transcievers, TDA9981 seems to be similar to SIL9022A and about same price (well a little bit up) but the datasheet is free to download, so I upload on OLinuXino GitHub repostory and we are about to make one prototype and test if it works correctly, then prepare the A13-HDMI-SHIELD.
I’m still puzzled why Silicone Image have this weird policy to not allow development with their IC if you first do not pay HDMI organization membership, this stops all small volume projects for sure, but it’t their choice, fortunately for us there are also Analog Devices, NXP and many others who offer similar solutions.
I’m just looking CH7009B datasheets http://www.chrontel.com/products/7009.htm
it have both DVI and analog RGB video, so will be possible to implement both HDMI without sound (as DVI and HDMI encoding is same) + VGA with one single chip
This may be the best approach as DVI have no royalties, and we will be able to make resolutions 1980x1080p via DVI and 1024x768p by VGA