Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Convergent Designs Flash XDR (Alpha Units) to Ship this Week

Flash XDR (Alpha Units) to Ship this Week
The long awaited and much anticipated Flash XDR Portable HD/SD Recorder/Player will ship this week (at least to alpha customers). Record and playback at 50 Mbps 4:2:2 in 1080i60/50 as well as 720p60/50 will be initially supported. Many additional features such as 24p removal, 1080p formats, and higher bit-rates will be enabled in the coming weeks via firmware updates. (In-the-field firmware updates via code download from our website and upload to the box from Compact Flash cards has been verified).

If you have ordered a Flash XDR please look for an e-mail shortly with more details.

Also, we now have the weight of a fully loaded Flash XDR: 2.7 lbs / 1.2 kgs (without battery).

QuickTime Support Coming Soon
We now have an official QuickTime license from Apple. We anticipate release of a Flash XDR firmware update in August to enable QuickTime files to be directly written to the Compact Flash cards. Soon, you will be able play and edit clips directly from the CF cards via a Firewire-800 reader. More specific details will be available next month.

SD-SDI and ASI Support in September
All the code to support Standard Definition video recording and playback (IMX MPEG2 format) has been developed and will soon go into debug. We are anticipating a September release. Bit rates up to 50 Mbps 4:2:2 will be supported in 480i and 576i formats.

Additionally, we should release ASI support (in HD and SD) sometime in early September. We will undergo field trials in August at a TV station which will test our complete broadcast chain from encode at the camera to decode at the local TV station. Our ASI implementation will include selectable bit rates from 17.5 to 100 Mbps in 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 formats.

64GB Compact Flash Cards Due Later This Year
Reports from several manufacturers indicate that 64GB Compact Flash cards will be available later this year. Microdia has already announced a 300X 64GB Compact Flash card due out in September. Four of these cards would enable 34/42 minutes of uncompressed video capture in 1080p24 in 10/8-bit 4:2:2! But, we anticipate that these high-speed 64GB CF cards will carry a heavy premium price.

However, slower speed (133X / 266X) 64GB CF cards are also expected later this year. Hopefully, the price premium over the equivalent 32GB card will be modest. Four of these 64GB cards would enable an amazing 9 hours of record time at the high quality level of 50 Mbps 4:2:2.

nanoFlash Design Update
The nanoFlash design is moving along well through PCB (Printed Circuit Board) layout. We anticipate receiving our first boards next month with production units in late September. A considerable amount of development has gone into reducing the size (under 20% the volume of Flash XDR), power (we’re targeting under 8W active, 0.5W standby), and weight (we targeting 1.5 lbs / 0.7 kgs).

We Appreciate Your Patience
Thanks again for your patience waiting for Flash XDR delivery. We understand that for some applications, Flash XDR may be the only viable tool to record High-Def video. We are trying our best to ramp production quickly to meet your schedules.


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