A display emulator for digital video interfaces that fits discreetly into your computer.
If this is the first time you see this thing, you would never guess what it is actually good for. Well, that happened to us too! Headless Ghost is a young startup that came up with the idea of a small adapter that makes your computer think it has a high resolution screen connected. Apparently it is very useful for servers, crypto-mining machines and other applications with remote display, where you need the full power of the graphics card without a screen being connected. Most graphics cards work in reduced power mode with minimal resolution if there is no screen detected.
Dev from Headless Ghost already had the HDMI version of the module fully working. For a new project he needed a new version with mini Display Port. We got in touch through a mutual friend and we agreed to help.
While the HDMI version was relatively easy to do, the mini Display Port variant needed a bit of research. There was a proper DP end-point chip required to make the graphics card think that there is a genuine screen connected. Another requirement was to make the DDC chip externally programmable for production. We used a section of the mini PCI Express connector as a programming interface for the prototype. This way, reprogramming of the DDC data was quick and convenient with no need to attach any cables.
What we did:
Feasibility research, active components selection
Schematics design, PCB layout
Prototype manufacturing and assembly
Prototype programming fixture design