Integrated Streaming DMA technology facilitates as low as sub-frame latencies, enabling real-time video capture/playback with little to no perceptible visual delay

AJA Video Systems today introduced KONA X, the next generation of KONA desktop I/O technology featuring built-in Streaming DMA. Compatible with new AJA Desktop Software v17 and version 17 of AJA’s world-class software development kit (SDK), AJA KONA X is a 4-lane PCIe 3.0 card offering ultra-low latency video capture and playback for applications spanning media and entertainment, live production, OEM development, and more. Combining bi-directional dual, full size BNC 12G-SDI and dual HDMI 2.0 connections, KONA X boasts all the tools required to meet a broad range of I/O demands.

Among KONA X’s standout feature highlights is built-in Streaming DMA, which lets users achieve as low as sub-frame latency for crucial tasks involving video I/O – whether assisted by artificial intelligence (AI) or for gaming, augmented reality (AR) graphics, overlays, or other tasks that require instantaneous performance. Robust, full size I/O streamlines installation while providing extended card longevity, and visible status LEDs on the KONA X backplane to ensure intuitive connection and status reporting. An In-Firmware MicroController allows AJA Developer Partners to leverage the card for nearly any use case while support for the AJA SDK on Windows, Linux, and macOS makes it easy to program and configure the KONA X using a familiar toolset. For applications that require advanced audio, LTC, RS-422 and other functionality, an optional KONA Xpand break-out board is available, which installs in an adjacent PCIe slot.

KONA X also leverages the proven feature set of AJA’s Desktop Software, including new enhancements in the latest v17 update, such as improved closed caption support, performance improvements for Apple silicon systems, support for Rocky Linux, and more. Available on macOS, Windows, and Linux, AJA Desktop Software includes robust and reliable application plug-ins for the most popular creative tools, including Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro, among others. AJA Control Room, Control Panel, and System Test applications are also included.

“From live sports and entertainment streaming to virtual production, live graphics and gaming, ultra-low latency video I/O has become crucial to modern workflows and technologies across a range of markets. KONA X is one of the first I/O solutions with built-in Streaming DMA and a whole host of other exciting features that enable powerful, intuitive capture and playback,” shared AJA President Nick Rashby. “KONA X ushers in a new era of I/O technology from AJA and we’re thrilled to unveil it ahead of IBC.”

KONA X feature highlights include:

  • Ultra-low latency and built-in Streaming DMA: DMA operation occurs between the video I/O and KONA X user buffer, bypassing the KONA X on-card memory. This functionality allows users to achieve as low as sub-frame latencies, which is important for eSports and live production environments, where the synchronization of AR graphics and graphical overlays, and split second reaction times for viewer interactions are required. For virtual production, it keeps camera tracking, the LED wall, and game engine in sync, while in broadcast applications, it provides a simpler way to manage dynamic video.
  • Flexible connectivity with VESA HDMI I/O support: KONA X includes dual full-size BNC, 12G-SDI bi-directional connections, and dual, full-size HDMI 2.0 connections (one for input and one for output) with VESA HDMI I/O support. With VESA HDMI I/O compatibility, the video subsystem timing is agnostic, enabling capture and playback of a myriad of HDMI formats.
  • In Firmware Microcontroller: This feature lets KONA X users and OEM developers run code directly on the card and achieve ultra-low latency or functionality that might need to exist before the system containing the card fully boots.
  • Optional KONA Xpand Break-out-Board: A complementary, optional breakout PCIe I/O board, for expanding the connectivity of KONA X. Key KONA Xpand breakout board features include: two channels of balanced analog audio (via user-supplied DB15 to XLR cable); Bi-level/Tri-level Video Reference (BNC); eight channels of unbalanced AES/EBU audio (Breakout Cable – BNC); LTC In/Out (Breakout Cable – BNC) and RS-422 (Breakout Cable – DB-9).

Pricing and availability

KONA X will be available alongside a free Desktop Software v17 update in Q4 2023 via AJA’s worldwide reseller network for $3,695 US MSRP. The optional KONA Xpand expansion board will release simultaneously for $595 US MSRP. For more information about KONA X, visit www.aja.com/kona-x and to download Desktop Software v17 upon release visit the AJA Downloads Page. AJA KONA X and Desktop Software v17 will be on display at AJA’s IBC stand (7.C19) in Amsterdam from September 15-18, 2023.

Gabriel Mays

AbelCine Director of Rental
As Director of Rental, Gabriel Mays oversees growth of Rental by nurturing business relationships and unifying the customer experience nationwide. In his previous role as the LA Rental Manager, Gabriel worked with producers, cinematographers, and assistant camera operators to provide the highest level of customer service possible. He also ensured that all their equipment needs are met on budget. Before coming to AbelCine in 2015, Gabriel previously worked as a Communications Instructor and Electronic Media Engineer at a private university. He taught various courses in electronic media, including film, broadcasting, and digital arts. Gabriel is an award-winning cinematographer, director, producer, and editor known for his innovative research and implementation of new film techniques. He was also one of the first to implement HDSLR cameras into filmmaking. He has been the cinematographer on dozens of independent films, documentaries, and music videos.