When will the Flash XDR ship? - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > External Video Recording Solutions > Convergent Design Odyssey

Convergent Design Odyssey
...and other Convergent Design products.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 18th, 2008, 02:49 PM   #31
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 2,230
Thanks for your update.

Best of luck with the process.

Is there a way to know when the XDR or the Nano will be available to somebody who orders today?

Meaning how long it will take to fill the pre-orders and start filling new orders?

Thanks
Tim Polster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2008, 04:24 PM   #32
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,413
Dear Tim,

That's a tough question to answer.

Mike Schell knows the number of preorders.

What is not finalized, is how many can be manufactured per month.

The initial production run has to be fully tested to ensure that the circuitry works flawlessly before a high volume order can be placed. As I reported this morning, last night's testing went well. I do not have the results of today's testing at this time.

If we detect a problem in one of the circuit boards it may be that all of that production would have to be scrapped, at significant cost.

If everything goes well, there is a possibility that production can be ramped up.
__________________
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
Dan Keaton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #33
Convergent Design
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
Thanks for your update.

Best of luck with the process.

Is there a way to know when the XDR or the Nano will be available to somebody who orders today?

Meaning how long it will take to fill the pre-orders and start filling new orders?

Thanks
Hi Tim-
We have the initial XDR productions boards in house now undergoing testing and debug. If all goes well, our first XDR untis will go out the door this week.

Orders placed on the XDR today, would ship at the end of September, nanoFlash orders would ship mid-October.
__________________
Mike Schell
Convergent Design
Mike Schell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2008, 04:51 PM   #34
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 2,230
Thanks for the update.
Tim Polster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22nd, 2008, 01:00 PM   #35
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: York, UK.
Posts: 224
Nothing like talking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
The team is working very hard to deliver the first units as soon as possible.
I'm sure you guys are - and it's really great to be kept in the loop with how things are going. I remain excited at the prospect of trying something new and innovative like this and have taken to buying myself pelican-like, windowed, water and shock-proof cases for my recently (substantially) expanded CF collection to keep my self happy - and to stave off the anticipation while you get ready. Looking forward to getting mine and staying with the development of the line.

Justin.
Justin Benn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2008, 06:29 AM   #36
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,413
Dear Justin,

As you build your collection of CompactFlash card, please be aware that the Flash XDR and nanoFlash require top-notch performance from the cards in order to pull off the "magic".

Currently, Convergent-Design has qualified two cards:

Transcend 32GB 133x and
Transcend 16GB 300x

Transcend cards seem to meet their specifications, which is a very good thing.

There are a lot of cards that are rated at 133x, but for many the crucial write speeds are lacking, and are no way near the 133x speed.

For up to 100Mb Long-GOP recording, the Transcend 32GB 133x card works well, at least so far in our testing and development.

For higher speeds, and for the future "uncompressed" recording, the Transcend 16GB 300x card is required.

For bit stream rates of under 100Mb, lower speed cards may be successfully used, but, at this time, have not been qualified by Convergent-Design.

There are two main types of Flash Memory, "Single Level Cell" (SLC) and "Multiple Level Cell" (MLC).

The SLC cards have always been used in "Performance" Flash Memory as they are faster, while the MLC cards have been used in "High Capacity" Flash Memory, but they have much slower write speeds.

The write speeds are what is critical.

Other promising cards, as they become available, may be qualified in the future.

We have word that a 32GB 300x card, from a trusted manufacturer, will be available by the end of the year.

We are expecting a very fast (300x) 64GB CompactFlash card, from another manufacturer, to be available this year.

We do not have pricing on these new cards.
__________________
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
Dan Keaton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2008, 01:57 PM   #37
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: York, UK.
Posts: 224
You said it. Actually Mike did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Currently, Convergent-Design has qualified two cards:

Transcend 32GB 133x and
Transcend 16GB 300x

Transcend cards seem to meet their specifications, which is a very good thing.
When speaking to Mike, he was very particular about this point. I currently have twelve Transcend 16GB 300x UDMA cards and, for my D3 and D300 (and as a back up), six of their 8GB 300x UDMA cards. I haven't found any of the Transcend 32GB variety yet but will look for those, or the 64GB versions which are sure to follow, sometime in the fall or as they emerge onto the internet market.

My EX3 shipped yesterday so I'm nearly set.

Jus.
Justin Benn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2008, 08:17 PM   #38
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,413
Dear Justin,

I was worried that you were collecting a diverse group of CompactFlash cards for use with the Flash XDR or nanoFlash.

I am very happy that you choose to purchase the cards that work!

The technology that allows us to record to a 32 GB 133x card at 50 Mb or 100 Mb is pretty amazing. A lot has to happen just right, including some very sophisticated programming to allow this to work.

But, it does, with the right cards.
__________________
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
Dan Keaton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24th, 2008, 08:54 AM   #39
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Incline Village, Nevada
Posts: 604
How is the testing of the first premiere units going?
John Richard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24th, 2008, 09:18 AM   #40
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,413
Dear John,

Testing is going well with the first run of the production boards for the Flash XDR.

There was one part, an inductor, on the first few boards that was rotated 90 degrees.
This caused an problem with the phantom power supply. So the problem had to be diagnosed and corrected.

The circuit boards are built using an automatic "pick and place" machine. So, this has been corrected and should not happen again.

The above problem slowed down the testing of the audio circuits. Yesterday, with the problem solved, all of the power supplies were tested and are working well.

Initial testing of the audio circuits (on these production boards) is scheduled for today.

The recording and playback is working well. Recording and playback across the 4 GB boundary, as well as across multiple CompactFlash cards, is working.

In parallel to the testing, others are developing the firmware for the Flash XDR.
__________________
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
Dan Keaton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #41
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Incline Village, Nevada
Posts: 604
Sound very promising Dan (and Mike). Thank you for the update.

Lots of us folks out here itching to get our grubby mitts on one of these jewels to test out the workflows within our individual systems to see the outcomes of increased quality and file based time savings at the same time.
John Richard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24th, 2008, 08:41 PM   #42
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: York, UK.
Posts: 224
Appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Justin,

I was worried that you were collecting a diverse group of CompactFlash cards for use with the Flash XDR or nanoFlash.

I am very happy that you choose to purchase the cards that work!
And I'm happy that you bothered to check! For me, that's a good sign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
The technology that allows us to record to a 32 GB 133x card at 50 Mb or 100 Mb is pretty amazing. A lot has to happen just right, including some very sophisticated programming to allow this to work.

But, it does, with the right cards.
Must have taken you all some time to develop. Presumably a fair share of this tech is in software and programmable chipsets, allowing for firmware updates and improvements? I'm very much looking forward to a 10bit augmentation of the feature set.
Justin Benn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 25th, 2008, 01:43 AM   #43
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Benn View Post
And I'm happy that you bothered to check! For me, that's a good sign.



Must have taken you all some time to develop. Presumably a fair share of this tech is in software and programmable chipsets, allowing for firmware updates and improvements? I'm very much looking forward to a 10bit augmentation of the feature set.
Dear Justin,

Thanks for the kind words.

Yes, this project has taken quite some time to develop.

While all of this may sound easy, there are some major technology hurdles to jump.

For example, it sounds easy: "When you reach the 4 GB file size limit", just close the file and open another." However, this takes a very innovative design to accomplish this feat. At the end of each MPEG2 file is quite of bit of data, items that are required by MPEG2, which has to be written. Then the new file has to be opened without missing a beat.

Then there is the task of updating the File Allocation Table (FAT) in the FAT32 file system. This keeps track of each "cluster" on each CompactFlash card. A lot of thought and programming went into this in order to do this quickly and efficiently.

On the hardware side, Convergent-Design had to custom design approximately five efficient power supplies to provide all of the voltages needed. Then there are the circuits that allow various portions of the unit to be powered off when not needed to save battery power. This would appear simple, but it does get complicated.

These are just a few of the complexities of designing the Flash XDR.

In my opinion, all of the difficult milestones have been achieved.

Our next milestone is to finish and test our design that will allow firmware updates in the field. It is my understanding that this is designed, but not tested, at this time. We are close, but not finished, to the best of my knowledge.

As you might imagine, this will be a great feature for our customers. Features that we have not even thought about at this time, features that our customers request, may just be future firmware upgrades. The ability to upgrade in the field is most important to us also.

Justin, you also asked about 10-bit.

You may be aware that MPEG2 is always 8-bit and uncompressed HD-SDI can be 8-bit or 10 bit.

The Sony EX1 and EX3 are 10-bit implementations. I have seen 8-bit HD-SDI also work very well. In demanding situations, one where I expected serious banding, I could not detect any.

Our uncompressed option, an extra-cost firmware upgrade, is expected to be available by the end of this year. This will provide 10-bit capability.

Be advised, dealing with the volumes of data that 10-bit HD-SDI provides, with the huge file sizes, is not for the faint of heart.

In my opinion, once users see the quality of 50 Mb and 100 Mb, many will choose these options for most of their recordings.

For the most demanding of shots, the uncompressed option will be available.
__________________
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
Dan Keaton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 26th, 2008, 05:42 PM   #44
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,413
Flash XDR Progress Report

We can now report that the initial audio tests, using the production Flash XDR boards, have been run.

We are very pleased with the results.

The audio sounds good and looks good on an oscilloscope.

We have tested the external audio inputs, end to end, to the external audio outputs. The input levels were varied from -60dB to +24dB.

Initially we tested from 50 Hz to 20,000 Hz. We will be going back to test from 20 hz to 20,000 Hz. We know it will work from 20 to 50 Hz, but since we did not test this originally, we will test it down to 20 Hz, just to be thorough.

The above tests were performed with a Tektronics Audio Signal Generator.

Less formal tests were run using actual microphones and the results were good.

More testing will follow.

The headphone output remains to be tested, and this is scheduled for early next week.


We expect the feature that will allow "in the field" firmware updates to be completed before Wednesday.

Recording and Playback is working fine.

We will soon be testing the Flash XDR with a quality camera that supports a wide variety of frame rates. We have this camera in-house at this time.
__________________
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
Dan Keaton is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > External Video Recording Solutions > Convergent Design Odyssey

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:21 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network