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Ready for 8K and AV over IP with All Programmable FPGAs and SoCs

Xilinx 8k HD FPGA

Guest blog from Rob Green, Pro AV & Broadcast Vertical Marketing

The Professional AV market presents several challenges to equipment developers. AV applications are increasingly migrating to higher resolution, higher dynamic range and higher frame rates (more, better and faster pixels) to improve overall video quality and to make the most of emerging camera and display technologies for more impactful content creation and digital advertising, all requiring faster processing and higher bandwidth. The market is also rapidly adopting Ethernet and IP-based transport protocols for agility, scalability and the potential to reduce installation costs, enabling multichannel streaming and distribution, as well as the ability to support compressed or uncompressed media on the same infrastructure. The need to integrate and bridge between these emerging technologies in a cost-effective way, without sacrificing video quality and, particularly for live events, processing in real-time is becoming increasingly difficult for manufacturers.

The flexibility provided by Xilinx® All Programmable devices enables developers of Pro AV applications from cameras to matrix switches, and LED walls to projectors, to address these challenges, creating a solution which supports any media over any network. Equipment designers are using both Xilinx All Programmable FPGAs and Heterogeneous System on Chips (SoCs), which combine high-performance ARM® processors with programmable logic, in all kinds of Pro AV applications. In both classes of device, the programmable logic is used to implement high performance, high bandwidth, AV processing pipelines and bridging to audio, video and Ethernet interfaces. The use of programmable logic enables scalable processing pipelines to be implemented supporting real-time handling of multichannel HD, 4K, and even 8K UHD. The ability to perform parallel processing within the programmable logic enables the removal of video processing bottlenecks which would be associated with a CPU, GPU based approach, such as the use of DDR to store frames between every processing stage. In applications that require operating systems, graphical user interfaces, audio processing and network connectivity, ARM processors make Xilinx All Programmable SoCs or MPSoCs an ideal solution for highly integrated, high-performance designs with ultimate flexibility.

Pro AV uses a diverse range of standards to transport media streams between equipment. Thanks to the any-to-any connectivity provided by Xilinx All Programmable devices, developers can implement flexible and multichannel interfaces such as SDI, DisplayPort, HDMI, and Ethernet. Our Alliance Program Members offer a range of solutions to implement AV over IP protocols such as Dante/AES67, ST 2110 with the programmability enabling in-field updates as standards adapt to market needs. Supporting these standard interfaces with a range of Intellectual Property (IP) sub-system blocks allows faster integration, and ultimately faster time-to-market, whilst allowing the designer to focus on their company’s real value-add.

To further speed up the development of the processing pipeline, both Xilinx and its Alliance Program Members also provide a range of cores which can be used to implement real-time scaling, deinterlacing, mixing and overlay with efficient memory management capabilities. To support compression of video streams, the Xilinx Zynq® UltraScale+™ MPSoC devices in the Embedded Vision range provide an in-built video codec which supports both H.265.HEVC and AVC/H.264 simultaneous encoding and decoding all the way up to 4K UHD (or multi-channel HD), with the ability to present highly compressed 4K media on 1Gb Ethernet, for example. Alliance Program Members also provide ultra-low-latency mezzanine codecs such as TICO and VC-2 which can lightly compress 12Gbps 4K streams in a lossless way so that the media can be transported over 10GbE networks.

Xilinx Zynq® UltraScale+™ MPSoC devices

This combination of out of the box interconnectivity, processing, and IP transport solutions, means Xilinx can provide building blocks for virtually all Pro AV applications and enables manufacturers to meet the market needs of more, better and faster pixels.

At Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2018, Xilinx and its Alliance Program Members are demonstrating leading-edge technologies on leading edge Xilinx platforms that will increase the developer’s ability to innovate, differentiate, and accelerate time-to-market.

The following demonstrations will be showcased at Xilinx’s Booth #15-K222:

  • 8K DisplayPort 1.4 Interface
  • 4K HEVC/H.265 Low Latency Streaming
  • 4K HEVC/H.265 Streaming (Presented by Omnitek)
  • 4K Media over IP using TICO & ST2110 (Presented by intoPIX & Macnica Technology)
  • 4K Real Time Warp & Image Stitching (Presented by Omnitek)

If you would like to see the demonstrations above and how Xilinx All Programmable devices can address your Pro AV challenges, please register and visit the Xilinx stand at ISE 2018 using the following link and code

Register for free with the code, 917390

Take a look at the new Xilinx web pages at for more information.

Author Bio:


Rob Green, Senior Manager, Pro AV & Broadcast Vertical Marketing, Xilinx:
Rob has worked in the programmable logic industry for over 23 years, and at Xilinx for the last 18 where he has worked in both the broadcast and consumer vertical markets. Rob currently defines and drives execution of the company’s worldwide strategy for various broadcast and professional audio video technologies including AV over IP and video processing, as well as supporting key customer needs in the EMEA region.  Rob’s career began as a design engineer at Texas Instruments, developing a NICAM stereo audio device for consumer TV sets. He was then a field applications engineer (FAE) supporting AMD, Philips, Motorola and AT&T/Lucent programmable logic devices at UK distributor Macro Electronics Ltd, before joining Xilinx. He has a BEng(Hons) degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Liverpool John Moores University.