DLP Software Update: ALP-4.3 Controller Suite for SuperSpeed V-ModulesJoel Coffman
Updates to the ALP-4.3 Controller Suite software have been released for the DLP® SuperSpeed V-Modules. The ALP-4.3 Release 21 includes additions to the FPGA logic, the USB 3.0 controller firmware and the API DLL software. The update is distributed free of charge to all customers using the DLP SuperSpeed V-Modules. The installation of the most recent ALP-4.3 Controller Suite is available for download from DLi’s Product Downloads page located under the Resource Center.
The following ALP-4.3 extensions will further enhance the performance and the application potential of SuperSpeed V-Modules:
- Low Latency Control
- PC detached operation
- DLP® *partial pattern update
Low Latency Control
SuperSpeed V-Modules are well known for maximal USB 3.0 data rates including lossless on-the-fly compression for bulk data transfer. In response to customer demand, the SuperSpeed V-Modules have sped up small data transfers over USB 3.0 achieving minimum latency for DMD updates. PC controlled DLP® operation takes advantage of the new Low Latency Control in general and the implementation of PC feedback loops is significantly advanced. The table below shows some typical results obtained with the new ALP-4.3 release (values may vary for different PC configurations). The latency values measured refer to the time between sending a new pattern via the API command AlpSeqPut and the pattern being shown on the DLP® micromirror array.
PC detached operation
The new ALP-4.3 release enables V-Modules to suspend the USB 3.0 communication without getting lost in software. V-Modules do maintain the controller state they had before detachment. As a practical consequence, one sequence started for repeated display will continue to run when the V-Module is no longer connected to the PC; it will just end when communication is resumed. The initialized DLP® controller and the stored patterns in the on-board RAM are preserved during the disconnected period and new commands are accepted after re-connection. A new hardware watchdog timer is implemented that can be programmed for signaling the disconnect status to peripheral hardware, e.g. for shutting down the light source if required.
Partial DLP pattern update
Partial pattern update can be used in certain applications to raise the DLP® switching rate. The Area-of-Interest mode of operation has been released now as a standard feature of the ALP-4.3 Controller Suite. If a subset of DLP® lines is selected upon system initialization, all subsequent functions will operate with that selected area only. In doing so, the pattern refresh rate is increased up to 50.000 fps, i.e. the recommended maximum for reliable and sustained operation of the DLP® system. The corresponding AlpSeqPutEx function supports partial pattern upload into the on-board RAM and increases both the RAM capacity with respect to the stored number of patterns and the upload speed in terms of patterns/s.