Unique, Field Configurable Modular RF Matrix Switch Design Allows for Extreme Flexibility

Quintech Electronics & Communications has received a patent for its XTREME 256 matrix switch modular design that allows its switch chassis to be configured with either a symmetric or asymmetric number of inputs and outputs. Unlike traditional RF switch matrices that require multiple chassis in order to scale and meet both symmetric and asymmetric input/output port requirements. Quintech’s patented modular asymmetric feature lets customers “customize” matrix sizes in a standard chassis.

Quintech offers customers a distinct advantage in that a single XTREME 256 chassis can be used where competing matrices would require multiple chassis. In a single chassis it supports 256 total input and output ports with a minimum of 8 inputs or outputs, e.g. 8x248, 32x224, 64x192, 96x160, etc. In addition, this extremely flexible product can even be converted to other sizes while deployed in the field.

For example, an XTREME 256 can be initially deployed as a 128x128 and later it can be converted to a 64x192 single chassis matrix by changing the modular hot-swappable RF cards. This switch matrix is an off-the-shelf solution that enables the customer to optimize rack space. In addition, the amount of cabling between chassis is reduced, simplifying the installation. Should the user later decide that they need to change to a different configuration; the XTREME 256 can be converted to a new configuration by adding and/or subtracting modular RF matrix cards in the field, without a factory modification.

While developing the XTREME 256, Quintech reviewed customer configuration requirements for matrix switches and found that for many customers the standard off-the-shelf symmetric matrix did not efficiently fit the asymmetric configurations that the customer often required. For example, a 96x160 system previously required multiple partially populated chassis with increased rack space and cabling. The other option was to propose a custom product, which led to higher costs and longer lead times. Quintech now offers the same configuration in a single 12U chassis.  Now, this patented technology allows both types of configurations to cost-efficiently fit in the same type of flexible hardware chassis. The patented technology does this in a way that simplifies and reduces the number of chassis required to scale to different symmetrical and asymmetrical input/out matrix sizes.

With the XTREME 256, customers are able to meet their requirements with substantial savings in rack space, energy consumption, coax cabling, and installation time. For example, it helped one of the customers by using the 64x192 block size for a 64x768 matrix. Previously with a 128x128 block size, this matrix configuration required six partially populated chassis, and a 64x64 block size required 12 full chassis. This configuration was condensed down to four chassis -- a 3X reduction. Combined with hot swappable RF cards, redundant power supplies, control cards, and fans, the customer is confident that the XTREME 256 will meet their rigorous 99.999% uptime requirements while keeping operational expenses at a minimum.