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SEMINAR REPORT

On

DIGITAL HUBBUB

Submitted by

ABHIJEET MUKESH

in partial fulfillment for the award of the degree

of

BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY

in

COMPUTER SCIENCE & ENGINEERING

SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING

COCHIN UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY,

COCHIN – 682022

SEPTEMBER 2008
DIVISION OF COMPUTER SCIENCE & ENGINEERING

SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING

COCHIN UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE &

TECHNOLOGY, KOCHI – 682022

CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that the seminar report entitled “Digital Hubbub” submitted

by Abhijeet Mukesh, semester VII, in partial fulfillment of the requirement of

the award of B-Tech degree in Computer Science and Engineering, Cochin

University of Science and Technology, is a bonafide record of the seminar

presented by him during the academic year 2008.

Mr. Vinod Kumar PP Mr. David Peter S


Seminar Guide Head of the Department

Place: Kochi
Date:
Acknowledgement

It is with greatest pleasure and pride that I present this report before you. At this
moment of triumph, it would be unfair to neglect all those who helped me in the
successful completion of this seminar.

First of all, I would like to place myself at the feet of God Almighty for his
everlasting love and for the blessings & courage that he gave me, which made it
possible to me to see through the turbulence and to set me in the right path.

I would also like to thank our Head of the Department, Mr. David Peter S for all

the help and guidance that she provided to me.

I am grateful to my seminar guide Mr.Vinod Kumar P.P., for his guidance and

whole hearted support and very valued constructive criticism that has driven to

complete the seminar successfully.

I would take this opportunity to thank my friends who were always a source of

encouragement.

ABHIJEET MUKESH
CONTENTS

Abstract iii

1 Introduction 1
2 Hub as a Factotum 3
3 Under the Hood 5
3.1 Hardware 5
3.1.1DSP Processor 8
3.1.2 USB Bus 9
3.1.3 PCMCIA 11
3.2 Software 13
4 Neologism of Digital Hubbub 15
5 The Evolving Interface 16
6 Dream Versus Reality 17
7 Conclusion 18
8 References 19

i
List of figures

Sl. Images Page


No. No.
1 Home network using Digital Hubbub 4
2 Core of a Hubbub 7
3 PCMCIA Card Physical Characteristics 13
4 Software layers 14
5 T6 dictionary for mobile 16

ii
Abstract

The latest talk in the consumer electronics industry is about digital hubbub. This
device is used as a hub to interconnect various any home devices. Along with the
interconnecting capability hub also incorporates several functions like recording, play
backing etc of data streams from various electronic devices in the house. The
electronic devices mentioned include a TV, VCR, Camcorder, personal computers etc.

The digital hub would be expected to access high-capacity storage and data
access devices provide and inputs for devices such as TV tuner, digital cameras,
digital video, and broadband digital data. Apart from this it must be capable of
distributing these files and information using connection mechanisms like a cable or
digital subscriber line (DSL) modem on the front end of the hub. Additionally an
efficient user interface is a must and should be a file browser like that of a PC
desktop, modified for a TV screen, and a remote control to provide a familiar
interface and ease of access. How does the Digital Hubbub system manage to solve all
these challenges?

What forms the internal core components of the Digital Hubbub system?
Various disparate technologies will need to be married into a single device to provide
control and connectivity features in an efficient manner. Another facet of the Digital
Hubbub system is the Software. What will be the design of the component? The
functionality of the system will directly depend on the design and power of the
software layer.

What will determine the future of the Digital Hubbub technology? The need for a
uniform standard for product development among the product engineers is just as
important as the actual device itself.

iii
Digital Hubbub

1. Introduction

Human being is always looking for single device that can be used for various
purposes. We can connect various devices either it is the case of personal computers or home
devices that we use in our day to day life. Interconnection is for easy accessing of
information or data stored on other devices. This is fine when we are connecting the PCs but
when you talk about house devices such as TV, VCR, Cam recorder, personal computers etc.
It looks pretty odd.

We are very much familiar about Hub. Hub is electronic device that connect Small
office, home office (SOHO) applications typically use a single Hub, or an all-purpose
converged device such as gateway access to small office/home office broadband services
such as DSL router or cable, Wi-Fi router. We have something same device faster in
comparison with hub that is Switch.

A lot of innovations are taking place in the field of consumer electronics. The latest
talk is about a single device which can interconnect all these entertainment devices and
provide many functions such as record, archive, and playback music and videos, organize
digital photo and albums, and distribute signal media around the home.

So companies gave birth to a new electronic device which is known as DIGITAL


HUBBUB. his device is used as a hub to interconnect various any home devices .Along with
the interconnecting capability hub also incorporates several functions like recording play
backing etc of data streams from various electronic devices in the house . The electronic
devices mentioned include a TV, VCR, Camcorder, personal computers etc. The hub consists
of a software part and hardware part. Hardware comes along with CPU. It has Digital signal
processing chips in a memory and different ports for interfacing. Hard disk drive, Universal
Serial bus port, PCMCIA and Ethernet jack are also core of hubbub. Software has got 3
layers an inner layer, a middle layer and an outer layer. These layers are divided on the basis
of various functions they have to do.

To Apple and Microsoft, it looks like a computer. To cable and satellite companies
like Charter, EchoStar, or DirecTV and their suppliers, it's a set-top box. To consumer

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electronics companies like Philips or Samsung, it's a stereo component. Various companies
are now trying to make their dream possible, as a company which brought digital hubbub.
Some of the companies like Moxi digital (Palo Alto, California), Digeo Inc. (Kirkland,
Washington), Motorola Inc. (Schaumburg, Ill.) and cable company Charter Communications
Inc. (St. Louis, Mo.) are interested in building boxes that include high-speed data
connections and home-network capabilities, in addition to the digital TV decoders of
ordinary cable systems.

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2. Hub as a Factotum

Factotum means an employ that does a lot of things. This is what digital hubbub does
by recording, archiving, store digital photos and albums and distribute digital media around
home. This can be done from sources like CD library, broadcast TV, and the internet. They
will also be able to store and play video games. And they will organize all your media files in
an easy-to-browse fashion and play them back on demand, making available features such as
pause, rewind, and several varieties of skip and fast-forward.

Typically, the digital hub would be expected to access high-capacity storage and data
access devices provide and inputs for devices such as TV tuner, digital cameras, digital
video, and broadband digital data. Apart from this it must be capable of distributing these
files and information using connection mechanisms like a cable or digital subscriber line
(DSL) modem on the front end of the hub. Additionally an efficient user interface is a must
and should be a file browser like that of a PC desktop, modified for a TV screen, and a
remote control to provide a familiar interface and ease of access

On the output side, a digital hub would serve audio and video to every TV set,
computer, and stereo in your home .This would require a wired—or preferably wireless—
network, with cheap receivers scattered around the house to capture the digital signals and
return them to analog form.

Inside, a hub may look much like an oddball PC from the last decade: a 32-bit CPU
ticking over at a few hundred megahertz, with some multiple of 8MB of RAM, a video
interface, and a digital signal-processing (DSP) chip or two to compress and decompress the
video and transform the stored data into a format for display. It will also need 20GB of disk
space and up, as good video requires about a gigabyte an hour, and audio needs about a
megabyte a minute. (Once you have the CPU and DSP chips for encoding and decoding the
streams of digital video compressed for broadcast or storage on a DVD, most of the other
functions of a home entertainment gateway, including the user interface and music storage,
are close to free).

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Fig. 2.1 Home network using Digital Hubbub

This figure shows the output side look in which different devices like stereo,
TV, VCR, Digital camera etc. are connected by cable wire or wireless. Wireless
network is done by connecting devices by cheap receivers. All heavy appliances are
connected to hubbub via home network while light appliances are connected directly
to hubbub by USB ports.

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3. Under The Hood

Under this heading we deal with the elements which make up digital hubbub. Just like
a personal computer it also got a hardware side and a software side is same way it has also
two parts.

3.1 Hardware

At the core of a hubbub is

• Central Processing Unit


• Digital signal processing chips
• Hard disk drive
• Universal serial bus port
• PCMCIA connector
• Ethernet jack
All these components are shown in the fig 3.1

• Central processing unit: - As in a computer system, CPU is the master of the hub. It deals
with the data transfer that takes between different peripherals and hub. It checks on the
parallel operations taking place in hub. It enroutes data packages to different operating units.
It receives signals regarding the function to be done from the control panel or from a remote
control Functions are like recording a video or writing an MP3 in a CD or retrieving the
stored data. Based on the received signal the central processing unit generates signals which
control other peripherals to perform the concerned operation.

• Digital signal processing chips: - The analog signals from various peripherals like a TV
set or a tape recorder is received by analog to digital convertors. These digitized data is
accessed by digital signal processing chips via their serial ports. These data streams are
compressed for storage .For displays these stop data is expanded by the same digital signal
processing chips. This processor has parallel operating functional units and this help in real
time processing of data.

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• Hard Disk Drive: - The hard disk drive is under a direct control of CPU via disk
controller. As in any device a hard disk drive is used to store the data .The compressed data
from the digital signal processing chips is written onto the hard disk drive and for displays
the same data is accessed via CPU. It will require a capacity of several giga bytes even more
than a 20 GB because a good video require a giga byte for an hour and good audio needs
about a megabyte a minute.

• Universal Serial Bus (USB): - The USB is a synchronous protocol that supports
isochronous and asynchronous data and messaging transfers. This universal serial bus port is
used to communicate data with portable MP3 music players, digital cameras etc.

• Personal Computer Memory card International Association (PCMCIA):- PCMCIA cards


are credit card size adapters which fit into PCMCIA slots found in most handheld and laptop
computers. This is also known as PC card. PC Card was originally designed for computer
memory expansion; it soon became apparent that this same interface could be used to add I/O
devices and hard disk drives. These cards are not used for expansion of memory but also can
be used for wireless connectivity, modem and other functions in laptop/notebook PCs that
may be lacking them natively. In order to fit into these small size drives, PCMCIA cards
must meet very strict physical requirements. It is used in transferring data with non volatile
memory cards or other devices.

• Ethernet Jack: - Hub requires communication with other personal computers as in a local
area network. Ethernet jack is the hardware used for the above said interface.

As the function of different unit are described in above heading. Fig. 3.1 clearly shows
the units inside hubbub.

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Fig.3.1 Core of a Hubbub

A Magnifying Look On

3.1.1 DSP Processor

DSP Processor used in Hubbub is enhanced version of A236 video DSP chip i.e.A436
Parallel Video DSP chip. Oxford Micro Devices’ Ax36 of video digital signal processing
chips is highly optimized for handling live images and being programmed directly in ”C” .

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Features:

1. Highly optimized and efficient, general purpose, very high performance, 512b advanced
imaging parallel DSP and 32b RISC processor (no MMU) in a single chip in a single
instruction stream.
2. Achieves very high performance with moderate CPU clock rate and main-stream
fabrication.
3. Fully C software-programmable, parallel image processor optimized for real-time
image/video processing/compression.
4. Much faster, more efficient and easier to understand, optimize and use than other fast
DSPs.
5. Directly software programmable in C as universal compressor encoder)/decompressor
(decoder) for multi-format.
6. Provides fully software programmable video compression in real-time.
7. Enhanced version (fourth generation Ax36 core) of proven A236 Video DSP Chip.
8. Easy to program - use C not microcode!
9. Full software development environment includes C compiler, assembler, linker, loader,
simulator and debugger
10. Develop code using our parallel-enhanced ANSI-standard C compiler with assembly
language output
11. Three internal DMA controllers automatically build circular, multi-frame image/video
buffers with programmable sizes in memory, providing a standardized format for video
capture, processing and display
12. uCLinux RTOS(real-time operating system) with TCP/IP and UDP/IP for Internet
connectivity, and file system and device drivers (video input/output, IDE, USB, Ethernet,
PCMCIA) .

3.1.2 USB Bus


The motivation behind the selection of USB for the Macintosh architecture is simple.

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1. USB is a low-cost, high-speed peripheral expansion architecture that provides data


transfer rates up to 12 Mbps.
2. The USB is a synchronous protocol that supports isochronous and asynchronous data and
messaging transfers.
3. USB provides considerably faster data throughput for devices than does the modem and
printer ports. This makes USB an excellent replacement solution for not only the existing
slower RS-422 serial channels but also the Apple Desktop Bus, and in some cases slower
speed SCSI devices.

In addition to the obvious performance advantages, USB devices are hot pluggable and
as such provide a true plug and play experience for computer users. USB devices can be
plugged into and unplugged from the USB anytime without having to restart the system. The
appropriate USB device drivers are dynamically loaded and unloaded as necessary by the
Macintosh USB system software components to support hot plugging.

Some of comparisons between USB and FireWire is that USB was originally seen as a
complement to FireWire (IEEE 1394), which was designed as a high-speed serial bus which
could efficiently interconnect peripherals such as hard disks, audio interfaces, and video
equipment. USB originally operated at a far lower data rate and used much simpler hardware,
and was suitable for small peripherals such as keyboards and mice.

The most significant technical differences between FireWire and USB include the
following:

• USB networks use a tiered-star topology, while FireWire networks use a repeater-based
topology.
• USB uses a "speak-when-spoken-to" protocol; peripherals cannot communicate with the
host unless the host specifically requests communication. A FireWire device can
communicate with any other node at any time, subject to network conditions.
• A USB network relies on a single host at the top of the tree to control the network. In a
FireWire network, any capable node can control the network.
• USB runs with a 5 V power line, whereas Fire wire can supply up to 30 V.

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These and other differences reflect the differing design goals of the two buses: USB was
designed for simplicity and low cost, while FireWire was designed for high performance,
particularly in time-sensitive applications such as audio and video. Although similar in
theoretical maximum transfer rate, in real-world use, especially for high-bandwidth use such
as external hard-drives, FireWire 400 generally, but not always, has a significantly higher
throughput than USB 2.0 Hi-Speed. The newer FireWire 800 standard is twice as fast as
FireWire 400 and outperforms USB 2.0 Hi-Speed both theoretically and practically. The
chipset and drivers used to implement USB and Fire wire have a crucial impact on how much
of bandwidth prescribed by the specification is achieved in the real world, along with
compatibility with peripherals. Audio peripherals in particular are affected by the USB driver
implementation. One reason USB supplanted FireWire, and became far more widespread, is
cost. FireWire is more expensive to implement, resulting in more expensive hardware.

Features:

1. Better Device Expansion Model:-The USB specification includes support for up to 127
simultaneously available devices on a single computer system. (One device is taken by the
root hub.) To connect and use USB devices, it isn't necessary to open up the system and add
additional expansion cards. Device expansion is accomplished with the addition of external
USB multiport hubs. Hubs can also imbedded in USB devices like keyboards and monitors
which provides device expansion in much the same way that the Apple Desktop Bus (ADB)
is extended for the addition of a mouse through the keyboard or monitor. However, the USB
implementation won't have the device expansion or speed limitations that ADB does.
2. Compact Connectors and Cables:-USB devices utilize a compact 4-pin connector rather than
the larger 8- to 25-pin connectors typically found on RS-232 and RS-422 serial devices. This
results in smaller cables with less bulk. The compact USB connector provides two pins for
power and two for data I/O. Power on the cable relieves hardware manufacturers of low-
power USB devices from having to develop both a peripheral device and an external power
supply, thereby reducing the cost of USB peripheral devices for manufacturers and
consumers.

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3.1.3 PCMCIA

Founded in 1990, the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association


(PCMCIA) was developed a set of standards by which additional memory could be added to
portable systems. This is also known as PC card as well as its successor Express Card. PC
Card was originally designed for computer memory expansion; it soon became apparent that
this same interface could be used to add I/O devices and hard disk drives as well, thereby
dramatically increasing functionality of laptop computers. Although this refers to memory
cards, but their standards are not limited to memory devices. These cards can be used for
wireless connectivity, modem and other functions in laptop/notebook PCs that may be
lacking them natively.

Physical Characteristics

The PCMCIA specification 2.0 was released in 1991 and added protocols for I/O
devices and hard disks. The 2.1 release in 1993 refined these specifications, and is the
standard around which PCMCIA cards are built today.

PCMCIA cards are credit card size adapters which fit into PCMCIA slots found in
most handheld and laptop computers. In order to fit into these small size drives, PCMCIA
cards must meet very strict physical requirements as shown in Figure 3.2.

There are three types of PCMCIA cards. They are as follows:-

1. Type I feature a 16-bit interface. They are 3.3 mm thick and generally used for memory
cards such as FLASH, OTM, RAM and STATIC RAM.
2. Type II features a 16- or 32-bit interface. They are 5.0/5.5 mm thick and used for I/O
peripherals such as serial adapters, parallel adapters, and fax-modems.
3. Type III cards are 16-bit or 32-bit. These cards are 10.5 mm thick, allowing them to
accommodate devices with components that would not fit type I or type II height, which are
used for rotating media such as hard disks. The only difference in the physical specification
for these cards is thickness.

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Fire wire and USB devices are available for almost all functions that the PC Card interface
was used for in the past, although it retains the advantage of containing devices entirely or
almost entirely inside the case of the portable device. This can be an important consideration
for portable systems, where additional external peripherals and their associated cables, space,
and sometimes additional power supplies can reduce portability and convenience. However,
even in this case Express Card devices have the same advantages as PC Card devices, with
additional bandwidth & functionality. On the other hand many devices do not need the speed
of PCI Express, and often PC Card devices with adequate performance can be found cheaply,
as discounted new parts or on the used components market, and will suffice for many users'
purposes.

Fig. 3.2 PCMCIA Card Physical Characteristics

3.2 Software

As in a normal personal computer we have software that describes a collection of


various programs procedures and documentation of some tasks. It checks on user interface,

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applications etc. with hardware. Software of digital hubbub can be considered as a series of
layers.

These layers are as follows:-

1.Innermost Layer: - In the innermost is an operating system that manages resources such as
storage or CPU timing.
2. Middle Ware Layer: -The middle ware that handles such house keeping details as
displaying text and graphics on TV screens. The middleware interpret the input from
different panel or remote control and it enables the CPU to generate signals according to the
concerned function. It also deals with the communication with the cable that supplies the
digital video and data strings.
3. Outermost Layer: - The outermost layer handles several applications .These applications
includes recording controls program guides and onscreen signup for additional services and
games and even web browsers. It provides a search engine that with only a few button pushes
could find all movie musical starring, for instance Elvis Presley, or action dramas with Jackie
Chan, or new episodes of your favorites home improvement show.

Software for digital hubbub is provided by mediabolic Inc. (SAN FRANCISCO). Figure 3.3
showing different layers in software of hubbub.

Fig. 3.3 Software layers

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4. Neologism in Digital Hubbub

The success of any product relies on the compactness and cheapness of the product.
As any electronic device digital hubbub is also required to be compact and cheap.
Compactness is brought about by implementing chips with multi-functions or in other way it
can be said as compactness can be brought by merging 2 or 3 chips to do a single function.
Therefore several electronics firm are doing lot of research and development to bring about a
much compact and cheap digital hubbub. A few affords to make the digital hubbub compact
and cheap are as follows:

1.Conexant Systems Inc. (Newport Beach, Calif., formerly Rockwell Semiconductor


Systems) announced a chip that combines digital TV reception with a cable modem. It lets
cable operators sell broadband interactive services in a low-cost package that includes 100-
plus TV channels.
2. Cirrus Logic Inc. (Austin, Texas) has among its chips a combined DVD and digital-video
chipset that powers Samsung's PVR.
3. Linksys Group Inc. (Irvine, Calif.) is known for its pocket routers (units that connect small
home or office networks to the Internet), it has a new chip that combines routing circuitry
with a cable modem and a wireless network access point. Such a chip could be built into a
stand-alone digital hub or slotted into a PC acting as a home server.
4. PVR maker TiVo Inc. (Alviso, Calif.), engineered into its custom disk-controller chip. The
chip can read data streams from the disk surface in whatever order is most efficient for the
head and then reassemble the information before handing it off to the video section.

Meanwhile, the price of hard-disk drives has put enormous volumes of storage within
reach of even a run-of-the-mill set-top box. Currently, a 40-GB drive, which stores more than
50 hours of video, is very less wholesale. Even a small fraction of that disk space can store
dozens of hours of audio and thousands of digital photos.

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5. The Evolving Interface

The interface looks like TiVo’s where you peck out the name of the show on a virtual
on- screen board: as you type each letter, an adjacent display of potential matching titles gets
shorter until only a few choices remain. Once the right show is found, recording its episodes
is a matter of pressing just a button or two.

Mox is simplifying matters further by mapping the letters most likely to be typed next
to the numbers 1 through 9 on the remote’s keypad. Typing text on a numeric keypad will be
familiar to the millions of people who send text messages by cellular phone. Here Figure 5 is
t9 dictionary used in Sony Eriksson mobile as we are looking when we are writing any word
character is potentially match with other words stored in dictionary in same way searching is
done in hubbub. It helps in faster searching of data.

Fig. 5 T9 dictionary for mobile

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6. Dream versus reality

Any build-up to a single home gateway that controls your television, air
conditioning, and e-mail will not come overnight. People won't replace their VCR, DVD
player, and home network all at once.

Thus far, there are barring a few exceptions such as "universal" remote controls and
serial control inputs for some cable boxes. Manufacturers focus on locking consumers into a
single supplier. That’s why we look for devices which should be compatible with digital
hubbub. If not compatible, then consumer cannot afford to buy such devices which are
compatible with hubbub. Whether that philosophy can stand up to the ultimate purpose of a
digital hub—connecting all the disparate entertainment devices a consumer may own and
even replacing some of them—is probably the crucial question for the evolution of this new
technology.

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7. Conclusion

The Digital Hubbub technology has the potential of revolutionizing the way people
will access devices. As Technology advances at a rapid pace, there are barriers that will
impede the integration of all our needs into a single platform or device. Even if technology
was to overcome all barriers and we were really able to produce an all-in-one device, people
will not want it. Why? Simply because people have a choice: and it comes down to user
interface, convenience and security. Let’s take the convergence of internet with mobile
phones. Wireless networks catering to this service are slow, and most sites are not optimized
to mobile screens. Your fingers will tire if your eyes and patience do not give out first.
Introducing a single home gateway that controls everything from a television, air
conditioning, to e-mail will not come overnight because people will not want to replace their
favorite VCR, DVD player, and home network devices and that too all at once.

Since the development of this technology is a nascent stage it provides a lot of scope
for computer science engineers like us for research and areas of study. The philosophy of
digital hubbub which aims at uniting disparate devices allows infinite possibilities of
convergence and a vast scope for creativity. This field will dominate the electronics industry
in the years to come and gives a glimpse into the kind of work we will be doing in future.

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8. References

1. Oxford Micro Devices, Inc. Summary of A436 Parallel Video DSP Chip, June
2001.
2. Paul Wallick, ”Digital Hubbub”, IEEE Spectrum, July 2002, pp 26-31

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