Synchronization Network
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Low Cost and Fast Synchronization Network

Genlocking video cards requires a precise and fast synchronization network. Low latency networks like Myrinet network fill these requirements, but others like Fast Ethernet networks do not.

To run a multi-display environment with a low cost PC cluster we developped a dedicated synchronization network for swaplock and genlock. This work is based on TTL_PAPERS network. A node connects to the network through the parallel port. A 4 PC synchronization is achieved in less than 5 microseconds. Basic synchronization units can be tree assembled to connect an arbitrary large number of PCs with very high synchronization performance.

As it was cumbersome to develop such network and that most of users just wanted to use it with SoftGenLock and a limited number of hosts (typically less than 6), we simplied the intial design to the extrem. This new network is electronics-free, cost about 50 euros and can sync up to 6 hosts. See SoftGenLock documentation for more details.

For the electronic side of the project, we worked with Guy Lamarque from LESI, and two of his students.

This work was partly funded by iHPerf'98 grant based on an association with the compagny Artabel.