By Suhel Dhanani and Girish Malipeddi, AlteraApril 06, 2008 -- pldesignline.com
Almost all new design starts for video/imaging systems – be it in broadcast, studio, medical, or military applications – is processing high-definition (HD) video signals. A frame of HD video has between 5 to 12 times the numbers of pixels as the frame of SD video as illustrated in Table 1.Table 1. Frame sizes in pixels for different HD resolutions compared to standard definition (SD).
This increase in the number of pixels per frame directly translates into increased video processing throughput requirements that drive most of HD video system designs to FPGAs.
With inherently parallel DSP blocks, an abundance of embedded memory blocks, a large number of registers, and high speed memory interfaces, FPGAs are ideal for HD video system design. However, HD video signal processing on FPGAs also has significant challenges, such as implementing efficient external frame buffer interface, interfacing different video function blocks, integrating the signal processing to the on-chip processor, as well as rapid debug and prototyping.
This article explores a video design framework that can alleviate some of these challenges and allow for a faster design cycle. The components of the video design framework described can be used collectively or designers can pick and choose to suit an in-house design flow and methodology.
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