Xilinx Lowers Cost and Power of High-Performance Video Processing for Industrial Imaging Applications

NUREMBERG , Germany , March 3 /PRNewswire/ — At Embedded World 2010 today, Xilinx, Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX) introduced the Xilinx® Spartan®-6 FPGA Industrial Imaging Targeted Design Platform to accelerate development of high-performance video processing applications for low-cost, low-power industrial imaging systems. Industrial equipment OEMs can now rapidly build and evaluate reprogrammable imaging solutions with high-definition image resolutions, specialized image sensor interfaces, and intelligent video and advanced image processing algorithms.



Digital IP cameras accounted for 11 percent of the worldwide surveillance camera market in 2009 with this segment projected to grow 25 percent through 2013.(1) Xilinx's industrial imaging platform enables OEMs to take advantage of the market opportunity with a complete development environment tailored specifically for video processing applications, such as high-resolution digital video conferencing, video surveillance, and machine vision systems.

“As industrial imaging products transition from analog to digital technologies and image sensors become more specialized, system architects are driven to look beyond ASSPs and ASICs to more flexible, cost-effective programmable platforms,” said Mark Jensen , director of industrial, scientific and medical marketing at Xilinx. “Our Spartan-6 FPGA industrial imaging platform enables industrial OEMs to do more with less. It is easier to extend existing systems and faster to develop new leading-edge, differentiated video processing applications that can scale with rapidly evolving product and market requirements.”

Optimizing for Industrial Imaging Applications

The Industrial Imaging Targeted Design Platform enables engineers to focus on differentiation and innovation rather than design infrastructure with the latest programmable technologies and smart design methodologies delivered in the Spartan-6 FPGA Industrial Video Processing Kit. This application-specific development kit is the second generation of the popular Spartan-3A FPGA DSP Video Starter Kit, and provides easy access to the enhanced features, functions, and larger device densities of the low-cost, low-power Spartan-6 FPGA family.

Jointly developed with Avnet, the Industrial Video Processing Kit is fully integrated and highly scalable with all the hardware and software needed to design right out of the box. The kit includes the Avnet Spartan-6 LX150T FPGA development board with two daughter cards based on the industry-standard FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) specification(2), video and image processing soft IP, ISE® Design Suite System Edition software, and four Targeted Reference Designs. It also features the Omnivision image sensor which provides direct support for real-time high-definition (HD) video streaming.  

“This kit is the perfect starting point for any developer interested in FPGA-based video processing for the industrial and surveillance markets,” said Jim Beneke , vice president of global technical marketing at Avnet Electronics Marketing. “The hardware we include in the kit combined with the example reference designs allow engineers to fully explore the latest video IP from Xilinx and third parties.”

Multiple Targeted Reference Designs

Industrial OEMs can leverage the massive parallel processing capacity of FPGAs and the 32-bit MicroBlaze™ soft processor from Xilinx to offload system processors and implement co-processing architectures. Power-optimized serial transceivers and high-speed I/O embedded in Spartan-6 devices enable industrial OEMS to use the latest image sensors with HD resolutions, increased bit depth, and wide dynamic range imaging. Differentiating features and functions can be easily added to Spartan-6 FPGAs by scaling device size in the same package layout for a flexible, cost-effective design platform.

The Targeted Reference Designs supplied with the kit can be used out of the box to create single-chip camera and video processing modules that support live HD camera, dual camera, and DVI input sources:

  • Camera Frame Buffer: video stream captured from camera is processed in real-time and buffered to an external memory. The design applies data buffering to change video frame rates and utilizes the MicroBlaze soft processor to control the hardware processing blocks.    
  • DVI Video Processing: video data processed as it streams through the system to illustrate one of the simplest forms of video processing systems and eliminate the need for frame buffers in external memory.
  • DVI Video Frame Buffer: working video pipeline uses external memory as a frame buffer and provides a simple platform as the starting point for developers.
  • High Performance Hardware Co-simulation: Using raw Ethernet connection to enable multiple design iterations and accelerate algorithm validation.  

Together with the base board and FMC daughter cards, the Targeted Reference Designs can be used to jumpstart development of industrial imaging products for video surveillance (IP video camera, network recorders, video analytics), machine vision (smart camera, high-speed imaging system, communications and processing interface), and video conferencing (high definition camera, video display, compression/transmission unit). Multiple examples provide best practices for compiling, debugging, and profiling Spartan-6 FPGA-based industrial video applications and demonstrate how to customize designs for maximum product differentiation.

Scalable Development Environment

The Spartan-6 FPGA Industrial Video Processing Kit with Spartan-6 LX150T development board simplifies the design, evaluation, and integration of full frame rate, high-definition video processing for industrial imaging systems. The two FMC connectors on the base board can be utilized to integrate the Dual Image Sensor with DVI Output FMC Module (AES-FMC-IMAGEOV-G) and DVI Input/Output FMC Module (AES-FMC-DVI-G) daughter cards. Any non-utilized FMC connector can be used to further expand the system with custom modules.

This scalable, standards-based approach enables hardware designers, R&D algorithm developers, and software developers to evaluate, test, design and integrate video processing applications in silicon earlier than is typically feasible with ASSPs or ASICs. They can also update systems throughout development and production to accommodate changing product specifications and benefit from the latest image processing algorithms, video analytics, and emerging serial interface technologies.

Pricing & Availability

The Spartan-6 FPGA Industrial Video Processing Kit is available immediately for order entry from Xilinx's distribution partner Avnet with early release shipments commencing later this month. General availability with production-grade silicon is targeted for April 2010 . The kit is priced at US$2,695 and comes complete with all the documentation, cables, and power supplies needed to get started. For more information about the Spartan-6 FPGA Industrial Video Processing Kit, visit:

About Xilinx in Industrial

Xilinx is the worldwide leader in programmable logic solutions offering the optimum mix of programmable silicon and IP to meet the high performance, processing, and deterministic operation required for factory automation applications. These capabilities are delivered as part of Xilinx Targeted Design Platforms that simplify development and enable greater differentiation of industrial networking and industrial imaging solutions. For more information on how Xilinx enables industrial electronic manufactures to bring low cost, innovative products to market faster, visit:


XILINX, the Xilinx logo, Spartan, ISE, and other designated brands included herein are trademarks of Xilinx in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

(1) Source: In-Stat Research, Worldwide Market for Video Surveillance Equipment, November 2009

(2) FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) is a VITA specification.

Editorial Contacts:

Silvia Gianelli

Xilinx, Inc. Public Relations


SOURCE Xilinx Inc.

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