Secrets Q & A
- Written by Scott Wilkinson
- Published on 26 March 2013
Monoprice sent me an email about HDMI cables with RedMere technology in them. Near as I can figure, this technology allows longer runs with thinner wire. What is RedMere technology?
- David Eckard
Ireland-based RedMere has developed several tiny integrated circuits (ICs) that boost and equalize digital signals in HDMI and DisplayPort cables. This allows the cables to be longer and thinner than conventional passive cables. The IC is mounted in the receiver-end connector and powered by harvesting a bit of power directly from the source device.
A passive HDMI cable maxes out at 15 to 25 feet and requires some relatively hefty copper conductors at that length—according to Monoprice, a 25-foot passive, high-speed HDMI cable uses 22 AWG conductors. By contrast, a 60-foot RedMere-equipped active cable can achieve the same performance using 28 AWG conductors. As a result, these cables are thinner and easier to route around—or even through—walls, and they weigh much less than comparable passive cables, putting less stress on connectors. In addition, they provide all the capabilities of HDMI 1.4, including 3D, 4K, Ethernet, and Audio Return Channel.
As mentioned earlier, the connector that includes the module must be connected to an HDMI input. Why? Because the IC analyzes the loss in each data channel by measuring the edges of the digital pulses with picosecond accuracy, and it then compensates for those losses before the signal is sent to the receiving device. For technical discussions of this technology, click here and here
Monoprice sells HDMI cables with RedMere technology up to 60 feet in length with a claimed bandwidth of 10.2Gbps. But Monoprice isn't the only vendor of these cables, though they are probably the least expensive; Samsung, Vizio, and Monster all offer RedMere-equipped cables as well. Some of Monster's active cables include a resolution indicator that lets you know if the signal is standard-definition, high-def, or 4K.