Axon Digital Design used Altera’s (NASDAQ: ALTR) Stratix(R) II GX transceiver-based FPGAs to create a quad split module. The module is the market’s first video signal processing product to support triple-rate serial digital interface (SDI) standards. Key applications for Axon’s GQW200 quad split module include high-resolution monitor walls used in the surveillance industry and truck preview monitoring and shading equipment used to deliver live television broadcasts.
With the GQW200 quad split, broadcast studio engineers can readily accommodate 270-Mbps, 1.5-Gbps and 3-Gbps SDI signals. The GQW200 quad split offers four triple-rate SDI inputs, two triple-rate SDI outputs, or a digital video interface (DVI) output. The module adapts instantly to the three different transmission rates, enabling broadcast studio engineers to work easily with a mix of equipment conforming to standard- and high-definition (HD) formats.
Axon’s GQW200 module runs on the Linux operating environment. Its processing power comes primarily from a Stratix II GX FPGA, which supports automatic switching between SDI, HD-SDI and 3-Gbps SDI data speeds with up to 20 triple-rate SDI full-duplex transceiver channels operating across a range of 270 Mbps to 3 Gbps.
Stratix II GX FPGAs offer plenty of on-chip memory, reliable external DDR2 memory interfaces, and powerful digital signal processing (DSP) resources, which are an ideal fit for implementing the post-processing features offered by the GQW200, including color space conversion, gain, sharpness, graphic overlay and overlay insertion. By leveraging Stratix II GX devices, Axon was able to reduce component count compared to their prior quad split product, which increases the product’s overall reliability, lowers manufacturing cost, and reduces form factor.
The Altera(R) Audio Video Development Kit, Stratix II GX Edition, was integral in helping Axon meet its aggressive product development timeline. Broadcast equipment manufacturers can quickly develop triple-rate SDI-based products by taking advantage of this kit, which includes a development board, Quartus(R) II design software, evaluation intellectual property (IP) cores, the SDI reference design, and documentation. The kit, the industry’s first and only to support triple-rate SDI with auto detect and switch, allows broadcast audio and video equipment designers to develop their systems on a single programmable platform while addressing cost, performance, quality and time-to-market requirements.