Xilinx Simplifies Serial Digital Interface Development for High Performance Professional Broadcast Audio and Video Systems

Industry’s first Broadcast Connectivity Targeted Design Platform with Virtex-6 FPGAs enables high bandwidth, low-power triple rate SDI applications.

Xilinx, Inc. today introduced the industry’s first Broadcast Connectivity Targeted Design Platform with Xilinx® Virtex®-6 FPGAs to simplify development of serial digital interface (SDI) solutions for high-performance broadcast audio and video systems. The broadcast connectivity platform accelerates time to market and differentiation of professional broadcast audio, video and network connectivity products, including cameras, switchers, routers, encoders, professional monitors, and cinema projectors.

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With the new high-performance broadcast connectivity platform, broadcast equipment engineers can rapidly build multi-protocol broadcast systems that require high-bandwidth, low-power serial connectivity interfaces. Multiple channels of standard definition (SD), high definition (HD), and 3G-SDI video can be implemented in a single Virtex-6 device that includes up to 24 power-optimized high-speed transceivers supporting line rates of up to 6.5Gbps. Xilinx is showcasing the Broadcast Connectivity Targeted Design Platform at InterBEE 2009 November 18th through November 20th, featuring live demonstrations in Xilinx Booth 6115 in Hall 6 at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo.

Delivering Optimized Broadcast Connectivity

The Broadcast Connectivity Targeted Design Platform will be delivered in a complete Broadcast Connectivity Kit that makes it easy to build audio and video interfaces right out of the box with the latest generation Virtex-6 FPGAs. The kit integrates a Virtex-6 LX240T device on the ML605 evaluation board, an industry-standard FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) supporting digital audio and video interfaces and bridging technologies, complete ISE® Design Suite Logic Edition software development environment, and Targeted Reference Designs for implementing SDI interfaces based on Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) standards, including triple rate SDI transmit, receive, and pass-through designs. The kit also provides full documentation to enable rapid system-level evaluation of performance, power, and design trade-offs.

"Broadcast equipment developers are pressured to get to market first with systems that offer the highest performance and most features, and meet the latest standards and stringent power budgets," said Ben Runyan, senior manager of broadcast marketing at Xilinx. "Our broadcast connectivity kit gives developers a head-start on building the standard audio and video interfaces their systems need on Virtex-6 FPGAs. They can get their jobs done faster and spend more time focused on creating value to better differentiate their products."

Targeted Reference Designs

The triple rate SDI designs provided with the kit leverage the excellent jitter performance of the Xilinx GTX serial transceivers in meeting SMPTE standards for transmit, receive, and pass-through of uncompressed digital video. The interface designs support all the typical SDI rates ranging from 270Mbps (SD) to 1.485Gbps (HD) and 2.97Gbps (3G) with their 1/1.001 derivatives, and are shown to perform much better than the receive jitter and transmission jitter requirements established by SMPTE standards. Optional clock cleaning circuitry is provided for even better jitter performance, particularly for pass-through designs.

Developers can get started quickly using the Targeted Reference Designs to meet application-specific interface requirements and design goals. With the ability to design Virtex-6 FPGA systems-on-chip with one or multiple channels of SD, HD and 3G-SDI video, developers can readily evaluate the performance, cost, and power advantages of Virtex-6 FPGAs for the targeted applications. The Targeted Reference Designs with the ML605 board/FMC card also serve as the starting point to jumpstart product development with a level of system integration that reduces bill-of-materials cost for silicon and enables savings in overall power, thermal management, and board real estate as compared to using external SERDES devices.

Scalable Broadcast FMC

The new Broadcast FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) supports a variety of audio and video interfaces and can be scaled to accommodate emerging standards and custom protocols, such as DisplayPort, Ethernet AVB, and 10Gb Ethernet. The Broadcast FMC combines multiple SD/HD/3G-SDI and DVB-ASI inputs and outputs with multiple AES audio interfaces and reference clocks through BNC connectors, with clock-cleaning circuit modules available to enable the best jitter performance. Using the Broadcast FMC in conjunction with the ML605 base board, developers can bridge from ASI to Ethernet for video over IP, triple rate SDI to PCI Express® for video streaming in and out of computers, and triple rate SDI to 10Gb Ethernet for high bit-rate video over IP links.

Pricing & Availability

The Virtex-6 FPGA Broadcast Connectivity Kit will be available starting in January 2010 priced at US$4,995 from the Xilinx web site or distributors at: www.xilinx.com/v6bck. The kit comes complete with all the documentation, cables, and power supplies needed to get started. The ISE Design Suite Logic Edition included with the kit is device locked to the Virtex-6 LX240T-FF1156 FPGA. For more information about the ISE software suite, visit: www.xilinx.com/ISE.


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