Convergent Design's Odyssey leads to massive growth as new features are added
We've often said that when a manufacturer launches a new product these days it's actually more than that: it's a platform. It doesn't matter whether it's a camera or some other type of equipment like an HDMI or SDI recorder: the chances are it will have spare capacity that can be used for significant upgrades.
This is very largely due to the use of a type of chip called an
FPGA - a Field Programmable Gate Array.
These seemingly miraculous devices behave like hardware - which means they're very fast - but can be completely reprogrammed, even to the extent that they can be rebooted with new code and act like a completely different type of device.
FPGAs are getting bigger and faster. They have billions of transistors. They're expensive, but the alternative, which is to use ASICs (very cheap but not programmable and extremely expensive to design) is not an option for smaller, more specialised companies - and the fact that you can't update them with new software means that the only way to bring new functions to customers is to sell them new products. This isn't viable for smaller companies and nor is it particularly ecologically sound. So, while FPGAs are a more expensive option, they are actually cheaper, probably, in the long run.
The Odyssey range from Convergent Design was, in our view, ahead of its time, with 4K capability built in and an OLED screen. read more...