On the AES Convention, Stage Tec is introducing a new star connect routing element, the NEXUS STAR. This newest member of the NEXUS family offers more routing complexity than ever before, thanks to an innovative 100 MHz twin switch fabric design. The new product can already refer to a first installation: The very first system is installed at the large German public broadcast station SWR in Stuttgart, replacing the old central audio signal distribution system. The SWR started the replacement by installing a NEXUS STAR with 1,536 inputs and 1,536 outputs, and they will expand the system within short time.
The NEXUS STAR can be fitted with up to 16 I/O cards, each with 256 inputs and 256 outputs, providing routing of as many as 4,096 inputs to 4,096 outputs. This gives a total number of more than 16 million possible crosspoints, all housed in a single unit 6U high. If even more capacity is needed, the NEXUS STAR can be used in cascade, offering a nearly unlimited number of I/O's that are switchable without any restriction.
The NEXUS STAR is a type of switching node that serves as a star hub for an entire NEXUS de-centralised audio routing system. Traditional NEXUS Base Devices, each fitted with various I/O cards as required by the Client, would be connected to the NEXUS STAR with fibre-optic cables. These NEXUS Base Devices are located wherever needed in the Client's facility.
The NEXUS STAR supports two different connection cards. First is Stage Tec's Fibre-Optic Connection (FOC) card which is used to link the NEXUS STAR to various NEXUS Base Devices. Second is Stage Tec's RMF card that provides 4 standard MADI interfaces which can be used for connecting multitrack tape machines and the like directly to the NEXUS STAR and from there to any other I/O in that NEXUS System. Thanks to the modular structure of the NEXUS STAR, it will be easy to implement other connection cards as new industry standard interfaces are developed in the future.
The NEXUS STAR, like all other NEXUS devices, is fully synchronous. Thanks to the TDMB technology, the latency within the system is constant for all signals at only 6 samples. Therefore it is perfect for live broadcast where minimal latency is critical.
During operation, the entire NEXUS system is constantly checked by an internal test routine. If a card fails or perhaps a fibre-optic cable were to be cut, the NEXUS STAR can automatically switch to a redundant signal path with no disruption of the audio. This offers the highest standard of redundancy. In addition, all cards in the NEXUS system can be 'hot swapped' for 'on air' maintenance, making the NEXUS STAR as reliable as possible!
The NEXUS STAR is very thrifty with power, using only about 160 watts. The NEXUS STAR has no fans, so it can be installed in areas where absolute silence is required.