Unique Combination of CPU and FPGA Yields Image Quality and Bandwidth Efficiency
Needed for IPTV Success
SAN JOSE, Calif. – September 20, 2005 – Modulus Video, creators of the award-winning ME6000 MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) high definition video encoder, today detailed its use of Xilinx (NASDAQ: XLNX) Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology. The Modulus ME6000’s exclusive combination of Xilinx® Virtex™-4 FPGAs, high performance server platform, and a scalable, industrial-strength software architecture is uniquely suited to demanding video tasks. The solution was recently featured by Modulus at the International Broadcaster Conference (IBC) in Amsterdam, September 8-13, 2005.
Modulus CEO and Chairman Bob Wilson said “The Modulus ME6000 answers one of the key questions raised by broadcasters – how to deliver bandwidth hungry HD video in an economically viable way over existing satellite, cable and the new IPTV networks. After benchmarking traditional encoding platforms and designs based on DSPs, we discovered that an FPGA approach would offer approximately 10 times the performance. We also realized that using CPUs and FPGAs in tandem would give us a platform that could readily take advantage of the continued refinement of AVC algorithms. Ultimately, the proof is in the performance and Xilinx technology delivered.
”Specifically, Modulus learned that many video-centric processing tasks are simply not efficiently handled by CPUs. For example, block-based and pixel-level processing tasks such as exhaustive search motion-estimation (ME), use many compute cycles but are also very data-flow intensive, thus requiring complex register pipelines with fast memory access. As a result, it is more effective to combine the massive processing resource from CPUs with hardware acceleration in a scalable and fault-tolerant server platform. The result is the award-winning Modulus ME6000 real-time High Definition AVC video encoder, which delivers broadcast image quality at half the bandwidth of MPEG-2.
Sandeep Vij, vice president of worldwide marketing said “With support for advanced features such as CABAC entropy coding, macro block adaptive field frame coding and de-blocking filter, the Modulus Video MPEG-4 AVC encoders featuring Xilinx Virtex4 FPGA technology deliver the maximum video quality at the lowest bit rates. We are very impressed by the platform Modulus has assembled, delivering the most comprehensive MPEG-4 AVC SD and HDTV video processing found anywhere in the industry.”
The DSP48 architecture inherent to the Virtex-4 silicon is tailor made to handle the challenging processing tasks presented by High Definition H.264 Main Profile. For example, the data comparisons involved in motion estimation are very repetitive and many of the calculations are re-used. CPU based implementations tend to struggle to feed this information from a cache, however the FPGA approach taken by Modulus has been customized to retain all the values in a custom register pipeline. The result is much more efficient and faster use of processing resources.
About Xilinx Virtex-4 FPGAs
Named 2004 Product of the Year by Electronic Products Magazine, Xilinx Virtex-4 FPGAs deliver more options, higher performance and lower power than the other FPGA products currently available. Manufactured using the world’s first triple-oxide 90nm CMOS technology with 11-layer metal interconnect, Virtex-4 devices represent a significant advance in programmable device architecture, technology and system design capabilities. Go to www.xilinx.com/virtex4 for more information.
About Modulus Video, Inc.
Modulus Video, Inc. is a provider of next-generation HD and SD video compression solutions for digital television based on the MPEG-4 AVC (H.264 / MPEG-4.10) standard. Its products include encoders and professional decoders targeted at the broadcast, narrowcast and video-on-demand markets. Each product provides significantly greater efficiency over legacy MPEG-2 systems, while working seamlessly within that existing transport infrastructure. Modulus provides long-term, cost-effective solutions for meeting the increased demand for bandwidth in market segments including: contribution / distribution; digital television delivered via satellite, cable, terrestrial, or IPTV, and enterprise networks. Modulus is based in Sunnyvale, California, and was founded in 2002. For more information, please visit www.modulusvideo.com.
Xilinx is the worldwide leader in complete programmable logic solutions. For moreinformation, visit www.xilinx.com.