Axon will use IBC 2018 to unveil Neuron, the world’s first Network Attached Processor (NAP). Developed to address the needs of complex IP and hybrid environments, this next generation signal processing platform packs a powerful punch to support 200 Gb/s and 64 channels or 16 UHD channels in a single rack unit.
“The move to IP is causing many in the broadcast industry sleepless nights, particularly the challenge of integrating and controlling increasingly complex technology layers whilst providing guaranteed bandwidth performance for new formats such as UHD,” says Axon’s CTO Peter Schut. “To resolve these issues, a NAP is required: a Network Attached Processor! And with our new Neuron NAP, Axon is setting the standard.”
For those heading to a pure native IP infrastructure, the Neuron is extremely efficient ‘modular glue’ in a centralised and virtual environment, capable of processing all the tasks needed in a live and baseband video domain. It enables multiple channels in a single device and eliminates physical cascading of products to offer the possibility to interconnect in any order desired, without actually running different cables.
New formats such as Ultra HD and 8K use up an exponentially growing amount of bandwidth. This is where Neuron comes into its own. Within a single 1 rack unit, it can impressively process 200 Gb/s and deliver 64 1080p channels or 16 UHD channels in that same rack space.
As media production increasingly moves from a hardware-centric to an application-based approach and mixed CAPEX/OPEX business models are adopted, the scalability and performance offered by Neuron will enable the flexible delivery of different types of production – opening up further opportunities for broadcasters and delivering significant savings both in terms of space and budgets.
For those taking a hybrid path to IP, it is clear that deployment of COTS switches and CPU-based hardware has failed to provide the functionality present in SDI routers such as embedding, de-embedding, up, down, cross frame synchronization and multi-viewers. Neuron seamlessly bridges that gap by providing impressive FGPA-based processing power with efficient connection to legacy SDI I/O. By bundling SDI technology into an IP platform, all audio and video processing tasks are managed with ultra high bandwidth. Up to 80 SDI connectors can be added in that same 1RU, making it one of the most space-efficient, cost-effective and energy-efficient processing devices available today.
“We’re delighted to launch Neuron at IBC and demonstrate this disruptive technology to visitors,” concludes Schut. “It has already been enthusiastically welcomed by our clients, many of whom are pioneers in IP production, and they have been blown away by its spectacular performance. We are confident that Neuron will both ease and accelerate the move to IP – particularly in sports production where its guaranteed bandwidth performance will support the rollout of new formats including 8K.”