iCLOCK is a synchronizable, high-precision clock synthesizer which is designed to be the reference in digital audio and video studios as well as broadcast stations. Based on a totally new concept of frequency generation, developed by MUTEC, the unit offers an unchallenged flexibility for synchronization of different devices to one house clock. On this occasion iCLOCK breaks traditional and unflexible forms of chaining input and output signals and allows for the first time their completely free combination and scalability.
iCLOCK’s principle operation is completely different to conventional products. The user, as a matter of priority, defines the clock rates and formates which have to be constantly available at the outputs without any disturbances – not depending on the incoming reference signals. Limitations regarding defined combinations of input and output clock signals do not exist for iCLOCK.
iCLOCK's philosophy is addressed to provide the highest possible failure safety for all outgoing clock signals which is needed especially for broadcast stations or centralized clock distribution systems. With regards to this functionality up to 3 independent external references can be auto-detected and locked in a user-defined sequence without any phase-jumps or interruptions in the outgoing signals. This applies also to external clock frequency changes, e.g. from 44.1kHz to 48.0kHz or reference clock changes, e.g. from video to GPS or AES/EBU. Even a manual change of the reference signal by replugging the clock lines at the input connectors is possible during operation(!). If all external references are lost, iCLOCK synthesizes the outgoing clock signals based on the last incoming frequency constantly. This applies also if a reference signal drifts out of the lock range. If the absent reference clock returns the synthesizer will lock gradually again based on iCLOCK's SoftReLock functionality which ensures interruption-free adjustments of all outgoing clock signals. In this case a continuously clock supply for all connected devices is guaranteed during any operation mode.
Using DDS-coupled frequency generation and latest DSP-based filtering technologies in combination with an extremely low-jitter clock basis of < 1ps (RMS), iCLOCK eliminates the jitter of incoming reference signals completely. This ensures highest possible jitter attenuation for all outgoing clock signals. As a result the synchronization of connected devices is much more reliable and the sound quality of every AD/DA converter will be increased significantly.
For todays A/V productions a precision synchronization of the used audio and video equipment is imperative.
To reach the maximum of accuracy for synchronization of audio and video equipment, iCLOCK offers a unique, high-precision signal management. The phase relationships of all input and output signals will be observed and adjusted in real-time automatically, aligned to AES11-1997/2003 und EBU R83-1996. This process reaches a control accuracy in the nanosecond range.
Due to requirements of todays professional A/V studios, iCLOCK offers in its basic version a variety of clock outputs with variable adjustable parameters.
In the case that often devices of different generations have to work together, especially the status bit settings of the AES/EBU and S/PDIF outputs are individually adjustable in different parameters.
As for future standards of digital audio technologies iCLOCK offers already today an unequalled variety of synchronizable and generatable Word Clock rates. On this occasion the system does not limit to the currently “highest” clock rate of 192.0kHz, but it supports a total of 36 different clock rates up to 24.576MHz(!). Included are so-called Super Clocks for Digidesign’s ProTools™ system as well as DSD and DXD clock rates for SACD mastering applications. Due to iCLOCK’s unique principleof frequency generation all clock rates can be routed to the Word Clock outputs individually.
iCLOCK provides standardly all pull up and pull down factors for audio, video and film transfers. As well as a powerful a digital varispeed function. That can be used to accommodate a playback to the pitch of the singers voice or to generate new pull up/pull down rates. As for simultaneous editing of PAL and NTSC based video material, a second video generator (P/NVSG-02, 8010-010) is available as an upgrade. Both generators are adjustable independently and can be locked to any accepted incoming reference signal. Furthermore an alarm interface (iC-ALARM, 8005-065) is optionally available to observe different possible failure conditions, like reference clock loses or power supply loses, from a centralized location.
Investment into the Future
Due to its unique concept, iCLOCK is not only oriented on current requirements of digital audio and video techniques. With their trend-setting features and software and hardware upgradability it is also usable for future technology standards. Thus iCLOCK represents a long-term investment for every modern A/V studio