As the proliferation of HDTV, IPTV and VoD streaming continues, together with the increased functionality and decreasing costs of FPGAs, it is inevitable that these two technologies will converge in the solution space. A key requirement is the ability to transmit, receive, edit, and process uncompressed video. The transceiver portion of this requirement is standardized by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) through the Serial Digital Interface (SDI) family of standards. These standards define the physical interface and related circuitry needed to transport uncompressed digital video over 75-ohm coax cable.
SDI is the most popular raw video link standard used in television broadcast studios and video production facilities. FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) with SDI interface capability can be used for acquisition, mixing, storage, editing, processing, and format conversion applications. Many applications use FPGAs to acquire SDI data from one or more standard definition (SD) or high definition (HD) sources, perform simple processing and re-transmit the video data in SDI format. Such applications require an SDI PHY (physical layer) interface and some basic processing like a color space converter and frame buffer. FPGA devices can also be used as a bridge between SDI video sources and backplane protocols such as PCI Express or ethernet.
In an FPGA-based SDI solution, the physical interface portion is often the most challenging part of the solution. The Lattice Multi-Rate SDI PHY Layer IP core is a complete SDI PHY interface that connects to the high-speed SDI serial data on one side and formatted parallel data on the other side. It supports SMPTE standards 125M, 259M, 260M, 267M, 274M, 292M, 295M, and 296M and comprises high-speed serial I/Os (serializer/de-serializer or SerDes), SDI encoder, decoder, word alignment logic, CRC detection and checking logic, and rate detection logic. It is optimized to work with the LatticeECP2M/S embedded Physical Coding Sublayer (PCS) and SerDes, enabling a complete, single-chip solution ideally suited for a wide set of applications requiring high-performance, high-integration, and low-cost.
The Multi-Rate SDI PHY Layer IP core may be evaluated using the LatticeECP2M SMPTE SDI Evaluation Board.