SSL joins AIMS, expands R&D operations
By: David Davies
Friday, April 21, 2017 - 6:01 am

Solid State Logic has moved to strengthen the future-proofing of its true networked AoIP broadcast infrastructure and the System T production environment with membership of AIMS (Alliance for IP Media Solutions). This is in addition to existing memberships standards coalitions such as the Media Network Alliance (MNA) and the Audio Engineering Society (AES).

SSL is also growing its R&D team again to support the rapid ongoing development of its expanding System T range and will be showing a variety of new System T features at the NAB Show this year, including support for the new TCR (Tempest Control Rack), and T25 (new Tempest Engine option), as well as the new Network I/O: SB 32.24 analogue/AES/Dante Stagebox.

AIMS, the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), is a non-profit trade alliance that promotes the open standards that broadcast and media companies use to move from legacy SDI systems to a virtualised, IP-based future.

Solid State Logic’s recent membership of AIMS means that the company will be an active participant in discussions on standards in IP workflow and an active participant in interoperability testing, ensuring customers will be able to integrate future technologies into their own infrastructures with confidence.

Tom Knowles, SSL Product Manager for Broadcast Products, explains: “The big advantage of broadcast workflows based around networks and off-the-shelf hardware is that the infrastructure is agnostic to the standards and technology that are using it. Different media transports and control protocols can live alongside each other and interact with each other. Future technologies and standards can be added to the infrastructure seamlessly allowing staged future migrations.”

“For example, System T’s audio I/O and routing is based around Dante – a complete AoIP networking solution that has easily integrated AES67 compatibility. The standard IT infrastructure and nature of System T’s software platform means that SSL can adapt to and incorporate whatever the future brings, as it happens.”

SSL has already completed the first TV broadcast facility with full audio + video over IP workflow on the same network, complete with integrated VSM control and a video-over IP workflow using SMPTE ST 2022-6.

Since its launch at NAB 2016, System T development has continued unabated, with many new and important features being added in an almost continuous stream. More developments will be on show at NAB, including support for the new hardware – TCR (Tempest Control Rack), T25 (New Tempest Engine option), and Network I/O: 32.24 – which incorporates onboard gain compensation splits compatible with any manufactures console.

Other important recent System T software developments include a new, more extensive path-live and mic-live feature set, access control levels and management for restricting features by operational level, 96kHz operation, extensive audio-follow-video controls update, full AES67 support for all Network I/O devices, provision for multiple loudness meter and True Peak meter instantiations in the FX Rack without compromising channel resources, and lots more!

Expanding R&D

SSL’s R&D team is almost entirely based at the company’s Oxfordshire HQ and is expanding, with more vacancies open now. Made up of nearly 50 software and hardware engineers, as well as a dedicated software test group, Chief Technology Officer Dr Enrique Perez believes it’s one of the strongest R&D teams in the industry: “We employ the best engineers from around the world to make sure our digital and analogue products incorporate the most powerful, versatile, and reliable technologies available,” he explains. “We have even developed self-testing systems that do code-level and functional tests every night,” he explains. “The software team can then address those the next day – bringing rapid development that doesn’t compromise quality.”

Dr Perez led the development of the SSL Tempest processing platform and the patented Optimal Core Processing (OCP) for real time CPU-based mixing and audio processing on industrial multi-core hardware – a technology that can only become more powerful and more flexible as the IT industry develops new silicon. “We are dedicated to the long-term development of the Tempest platform,” continues Perez. “And we take great care to make sure our customers can go on-air with full confidence in the whole System T environment.”