Woodcliff Lake, NJ, May 25, 2010 —Electronic system design engineers who need to understand and evaluate H.264 video encoding now have a quick, cost-effective, ready-to-run tool for doing just that.
The H264-REF H.264 Video Encoding Reference Design System from semiconductor intellectual property (IP) provider CAST, Inc. combines multiple hardware functions and essential software in a pre-integrated, well-documented package. The System is available now, running in either Altera or XIlinx FPGAs on commercial prototyping boards.
The heart of the system is the H264-E Encoder Core developed by Alma Technologies S.A. This core produces high quality compressed video at up to 1080p resolution and 30 frames per second. It uses an efficient Baseline Profile architecture, and processes video with less latency and fewer hardware resources than many competing cores.
The H264-REF System also includes a PCI Express Endpoint Controller Core, an H.264 Multimedia Interface Core, and an appropriate DDR Memory Controller Core.
Custom H264-REF software provides a graphical user interface that makes it easy to control H.264 encoding parameters such as the target quality level or a constant bit rate requirement. The GUI also helps a designer manage workflow details like input and output clip specifications. The system includes additional drivers and other software to make it ready to run as delivered.
The cores are implemented in either Altera or Xilinx FPGA systems: the Altera Stratix IV GX FPGA Development Kit includes a fast grade Stratix IV silicon device, and the V5 TAI Logic Module Virtual FPGA Prototyping System from S2C, Inc. includes a fast Virtex-5 device.
CAST has been offering H.264 IP cores for over five years as part of one of the broadest available multimedia IP product lines.
"The H264-REF System satisfies two customer needs we've frequently seen," said Bill Finch, senior vice president. "Many products require H.264 video encoding, but designers have little or no experience with this complex compression technology, and need an easy platform for learning and experimentation. Moreover, any designer considering H.264 IP should evaluate the actual core with multiple samples of their own video material, in an environment where they can replicate the conditions anticipated for their system."
The H264-REF system was recently licensed by CARERI, the Chinese Aeronautical Radio Electronics Research Institute, for use in the CAST IP Joint Lab established at CARERI's facility in Shanghai, China.
A new J2K-REF Reference Design System will soon join the H264-REF, using the same platform to bring similar evaluation and analysis benefits to the complex JPEG 2000 image compression standard.
To see a live demonstration of the H264-REF System, visit CAST at DAC, the Design Automation Conference in Anaheim, CA, June 13-15, 2010, booth 521. For more information, please visit or contact CAST: www.cast-inc.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 202.392.8300
See also CAST partner sites: