Altera Rolls Out Audio/Video Development Kit, Stratix II GX Edition

Altera Corporation (Nasdaq: ALTR) today announced it is shipping its Audio/Video Development Kit, Stratix(R) II GX edition, the industry’s first FPGA-based audio/video development kit designed to support triple rate SDI (serial digital interface), including the new 3 Gbps SMPTE 424M standard.

By supporting the 424M standard defined by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the development kit enables designers to create or design next-generation studio and broadcast applications such as switchers, H.264 encoders, transcoders, and integrated receiver decoders (IRDs) based on the HD (high-definition) 1080p format. Designers will be able to see a demonstration of the kit’s capabilities at Altera’s booth (hall 8, booth #375) during IBC2006 in Amsterdam Sept. 8-12.

“NVISION views 3Gb/s data rates as an evolutionary step in the broadcast equipment industry. At NAB 06, we announced support for this emerging standard in coming versions of our award-winning large-scale and compact routers,” said Chuck Meyer, president and CEO of NVISION. “Altera offers superior FPGA solutions. We currently use Altera’s low-cost Cyclone(R) II devices in our NV8288 Digital Video Router, as well as Altera FPGAs in our machine control and audio routers, the NV5256 and NV7512. As a leading FPGA provider, we consider Altera as a viable programmable logic vendor supporting this new 3G standard in the future.”

The current practice for supporting the HD 1080p format is to use a dual- link connection (SMPTE 372) from cameras to the mixing and recording equipment. Dual-link connections require twice the number of cables as single- link connections. This results in increased equipment complexity within the studio facility as well as higher cost. SMPTE 424M is a single-link, 1080p- capable standard that simplifies hardware design while reducing facility setup complexity and cost.

The Audio/Video Development Kit, Stratix II GX edition features a wide array of input and output devices for standards including asynchronous serial interface (ASI), SDI, digital video interface (DVI) and many additional audio interfaces. The kit also includes Altera’s video and imaging processing technologies that designers can implement in a single FPGA or as an FPGA co- processor supporting digital signal processors. The Stratix II GX device supports SDI, HD-SDI or 3-Gbps SDI serial data speeds on up to 20 full-duplex transceiver channels operating across a range of 270 Mbps to 3 Gbps. The transceivers are capable of supporting data rates up to 6.375 Gbps. Designers will also benefit from the excellent jitter performance offered by the low- power transceivers embedded in the Stratix II GX device.

“Designers of broadcast audio and video equipment now have a development kit that allows the design of their systems on a single programmable platform for addressing their cost, performance and quality requirements with the latest technology while meeting their time-to-market goals,” said Tim Colleran, vice president of Altera’s broadcast, automotive and consumer business unit. “With the impressive performance and flexibility of our Stratix II GX audio/video development platform, designers can easily meet the rigorous requirements of today’s high-definition standards.”

Designers can discover how Altera’s programmable solutions drive innovation in the broadcast industry at IBC2006. In addition to the kit, Altera will be demonstrating the programmable logic industry’s first Pro-MPEG code of practice #3 forward error correction (FEC) module for reliable distribution of video over internet protocol. Also at the Altera booth will be LetItWave’s FPGA-based SD (standard definition) to HD up-conversion technology.

Price and Availability
The Audio Video Development Kit, Stratix II GX Edition is priced at $4,995 and is available immediately from Altera and its distributors. For detailed technical information about the kit, go to online. For more information on the range of Altera’s broadcast industry solutions, go to online.

About Altera
Altera’s programmable solutions enable system and semiconductor companies to rapidly and cost-effectively innovate, differentiate and win in their markets.

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