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Development kits simplify video equipment design

Posted: 12 Sep 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:serial digital interface  video clocking  daughter card  development kits 


National Semiconductor has unveiled what it touts as the industry's first triple-rate (3G/HD/SD) serial digital interface (SDI) and video clocking daughter card development kits that maximise system performance and simplify the design of new broadcast video equipment. The two daughter cards are compatible with development kits from Altera and Xilinx and include synthesisable field-programmable gate array (FPGA) source code and the entire SDI signal path and video clocking solution together on one board. This allows designers to evaluate system performance, implement or modify FPGA source code, finalise architectures and start new designs.

Broadcast and professional video equipment designers now have a one-stop shop for beginning new, ultra-low jitter SDI designs for video routers, production switchers, video servers and a wide range of video editing and post-production equipment. Both daughter cards support industry-standard 270Mbps, 1.485Gbps and 2.97Gbps data rates, enabling transmission of digital video broadcasting-asynchronous serial interface (DVB-ASI), standard-definition (SMPTE 259M-C), high-definition (SMPTE 292M) and the new 3G-SDI standard (SMPTE 424M) for uncompressed serial transmission of 1080p50/60 signals over a single link of coaxial cable.

SDALTEVK and SDXILEVK daughter cards/development kits

National's SDALTEVK daughter card plugs directly into Altera's Cyclone III development board via a high-speed mezannine connector (HSMC), while the SDXILEVK daughter card plugs directly into the Xilinx Spartan-3A development board via Avnet's EXP expansion module.

Each National daughter card supports a complete 3G-SDI signal path consisting of adaptive cable equaliser (LMH0344), deserialiser with reclocked loop through (LMH0341) and serialiser with integrated cable driver (LMH0340). A multi-rate sync separator (LMH1981) and clock generator (LMH1982) deliver ultra-low-jitter reference clocks to the host FPGA. A reference clock selector – either 4 x 4 low-voltage differential signalling (LVDS) crosspoint switch (DS25CP104) or 2 x 2 LVDS crosspoint switch (DS90CP22) – enables four selectable clocking options:

* Recovered clock from LMH0341 deserialiser

* Genlock from analogue reference, LMH1981 sync separator and LMH1982 clock generator

* Local clock generation from LMH1982 in free-run mode

* External clock via subminiature version-A (SMA) connector

These selectable reference clocks allow designers to quickly compare system jitter performance, using different clocking sources, and then select the best fit for their project.

The daughter cards are independently powered by National's LP3878 low-noise dropout regulator (LDO). The SDALTEVK includes National's PowerWise LM20242 adjustable-frequency synchronous buck regulator.

Each development kit includes FPGA IP for audio embedding and test pattern generation, plus framing for SD, HD and 3Gbps type-A SDI formats. National provides both the hardware and FPGA firmware, enabling system designers to modify their design, quickly adapt to standard changes, add features and reduce time-to-market. Competing solutions that integrate the protocol blocks locally in the discrete SerDes constrain system designs to a fixed set of digital functions that limit flexibility and raise compatibility issues.

The SDALTEVK and SDXILEVK daughter card development kits are priced at Rs.17,100.53 ($399) each. Provided with the purchase of each kit is comprehensive design documentation and FPGA source code in synthesisable Verilog or VHDL. For more information or to order these daughter card development kits, visit and

National will be demonstrating these daughter card development kits at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam from September 12-16 at Hall 11, Booth F79.

- Clive Maxfield
Programmable Logic DesignLine

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