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Ref design ups 4K format conversion for video apps

Posted: 14 Sep 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:video processor  4K format conversion  reference design 

Altera Corp. unveils a single-chip 4K format conversion reference design with integrated serial digital interface (SDI) that highlights fast design cycle for video apps in 4K resolution and 3D.

It uses video design framework, and video and image processing (VIP) Suite with MegaCore operations. The hardware integrates Altera's Stratix IV GX A/V Kit, a Nios II embedded processor, a multi-port front-end DDR3 memory controller and SDI.

Senior design engineer at Vista Systems and hardware systems architect, John Motter cites, "When designing our Spyder X20 video processor, which has the capabilities of handling up to dual 4K displays or a single 3D 4K display, we required a significant amount of bandwidth to move that many pixels through the system uncompressed and with minimal delay." He explains that, "After an extensive evaluation of the major FPGA vendors, we determined that only Altera's superior transceivers, field-proven IP and fast compile times would meet our demanding design requirements."

Meanwhile, senior director of Altera's broadcast and communications business units, Arun Iyengar says, "By offering 4K video processing IP running on a high-performance hardware platform, this reference design provides the flexibility to meet the design requirement for these new 4K systems."

4K resolution is growing fast to become the next major enhancement in video because of the benefits in picture clarity and realism. Many leading projector, broadcast and camera OEMs are either shipping systems today or will by the end of this year.

Altera says it drives this next generation of applications by reducing the overall system chip count, lowering the overall BOM costs of the end product, as well as reducing the cost of development and simplifying board design. Previous systems required as many as nine off-the-shelf chips to perform 4K format conversion (four 1080p format conversion chips and five chips for SDI input and output). By utilisation of Altera's 4K format conversion reference design (based on a single Stratix IV EP4SGX230 FPGA), these functions can be easily combined with ample headroom remaining to incorporate other video I/Os such as DisplayPort and video compression (encoding/decoding) processing. Christie/Vista Systems is an early adopter of this technology.

The Stratix IV GX A/V Kit is available now, while the 4K format conversion reference design will become available to customers in 4Q 2010.





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