With identical system wiring as the Dual Pipeline configuration, Split Multichannel is different
because of the addition of one or two VideoSplitter(tm) option boards. The VideoSplitter draws
digital frame buffer data out of the raster subsystem of the pipeline to which it is associated,
then outputs that data to 1-4 lower resolution RGB displays.
Thus, the high resolution frame buffer can be effectively partitioned into several lower
resolution frame buffers, each of which could contain a completely independent output
channel with a completely independent eyepoint into a database. Similar in the operation to the
Dual Pipeline configuration, these independent lower resolution frame buffers need not even
have output channel views of a database, but may have secondary display information, such as
simulated dials and gauges, instructor station views of the entire training environment, etc.
When using the VideoSplitter to obtain additional channels from a SkyWriter, two issues arise.
The first is that since the single pipeline resolution (1280x1024) is divided among the split,
low-res channels, each independent view is essentially restricted to the size of a single
quadrant of the screen (640x5l2). The second issue is that the performance of a single pipeline
is being divided among several, lower resolution channels since each channel will require its
own database traversal. Thus each frame time for the system may contain several frames worth
of rendered data, there will be new, lower limits for the scene complexity and frame rates for
each of the new channels.
It is possible, however, to generate as many as eight,independent channels out of a single
SkyWriter system, albeit at lower resolution and frame rates. This is an excellent opportunity
for slow vehicle trainers and part-task devices without strict 30Hz or 60Hz update
requirements (e.g. Ship Bridge Simulators). For more information on the VideoSplitter, see the
section on Video Options.