By Suhel Dhanani, Altera Corp.
Programmable Logic DesignLine (05/05/10, 02:57:00 AM EDT)
Two fundamental trends driving the electronic infrastructure business are the need for higher data (and increasingly mobile) bandwidth and the need for higher resolution video. While somewhat distinct, these trends are overlapping in that video is the primary driver for the ever-increasing data bandwidth requirements. Cisco estimates that ï¿½all forms of video will account for close to 90% of consumer (Internet) traffic by 2012ï¿½.ï¿½
The need for increased data bandwidth inherently implies higher performance and higher precision data processing. More and higher resolution data needs to be processed, while maintaining stringent power and cost specifications. Conceptually Figure 1 shows that while processing performance/precision needs are going upï¿½total system cost and power targets remain the same.
Figure 1. Increasing Processing with Strict Power and Cost Budgets
Video processing provides a very compelling case study of this trend. We have seen the video infrastructure gearing up to handle the processing of high definition (HD) video (up from standard definition or SD) and now even 4K (3D) video resolutions. As this transition takes placeï¿½the number of pixels that need to be processed per frame as well as the color depth (the pixel resolution) increases, thus enabling higher image quality.
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