An Insider’s Look at New Router Technology

An Insider’s Look at New Router Technology

Product design is something I have a lot of passion for and it has been a great experience working with our entire design team on our new Avenue flexible matrix router. We approached this project by not only looking at how routers in general get used, but by also exploring some of the things that we think they could be used for today – things that they are not being used for now, due to inherent limitations in how they work. So, we began examining how the design of the router could expand its usefulness in a facility.

We call it flexible because we wanted it to have a variable number of inputs and outputs that are user-selectable. A user can decide whether they want 10 inputs and 10 outputs, or if they want 18 inputs and 2 outputs. That is all flexible and user-selectable. But we also wanted it to be adjustable and customizable, flexible in terms of how those ports work. Not only are they inputs or outputs, but in they way they are tied to each other. There are resources that you don’t typically find in a router. We put two test signal generators in the router because there are always two things that you connect to a router: a bar generator and a black generator. So, we just put those inside and were done with it. By integrating so many of these things and providing the ability to interconnect it, the installer or the user can configure it and to adjust it to fit the needs that they have in their facility.

We included a very capable frame synchronizer. Multiple frame synchronizers inside this router, through the flexibility of the user interface and interconnection, can be positioned in an input or in an output. If they are positioned in an input, then any source connected to that port is synchronized and is totally synchronous on any output it is taken to. If it is positioned in an output, then that output is now a clean and quiet switch so that you can switch between two different sources, even asynchronous sources. And it is a clean, vertical interval switch with a nice V transition in audio on the output.

So we have had a lot of detail work, which for engineers, as strange as it sounds, is a lot of fun. We put all of those pieces in place and that has been a really satisfying design experience.

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