Samplify Develops Compression Engine for FPGAs

Addressing the growing challenge presented by the widening gap between ever-increasing digitization rates and the fixed-bandwidth infrastructure, Samplify Systems announced the availability of the Samplify compression engine for FPGAs and Samplify for Windows signal analysis tool. Targeting rates from 10 Mega-samples per second (Msps) using PC software, 250 Msps in FPGAs, and up to 60 Giga-samples per second (Gsps) in ASICs, Samplify’s high-speed field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based compression improves system performance and lowers system cost in such real-time embedded applications as COTS, military, medical imaging, homeland security, ATE, test and measurement and data acquisition.

Significantly reducing bandwidth and storage requirements of embedded systems, the Samplify compression engine for FPGAs compresses and decompresses signals in real time from 2:1 to 8:1 compression with user-selected lossless, fixed-rate, and fixed-quality options. Taking compression out of the domain of the microprocessor, Samplify’s compression engine for FPGAs is optimized for sampled data received from analog-to-digital (A/D) and sent to digital-to-analog (D/A) converters. Samplify’s FGPA compression engine is 10x to 1000x faster than other microprocessor-based compression products. Samplify’s ER(TM) compression algorithms deliver equivalent results in the area between lossless and lossy compression, delivering the same end-to-end system results that customers expect, but at significantly lower bit rates. Designers benefit from higher data rates while still receiving the bits that matter for their end uses — all conveniently implemented in one FPGA.

As a companion product to Samplify’s FPGA-based compression engine, the Samplify for Windows signal analysis tool allows users to experiment with all of Samplify’s lossless and lossy compression modes. Samplify for Windows displays input and output (compressed) file sizes and other relevant compression results, including compression ratio, dynamic range, noise floor and distortion levels, and a one-click rate-distortion curve. After using Samplify for Windows, customers will know exactly how their own signals will compress using Samplify’s real-time FPGA products, with bit-for-bit accuracy.

“Whether the challenge is moving huge amounts of data into the processing elements in real time, or storing and decompressing at a later time, Samplify offers the hardware and software to break today’s data transfer and data storage bottlenecks,” said Al Wegener, Samplify founder and CTO. “No other solution can match Samplify’s modest use of resources while operating at compression rates greater than 200 Msps.”

“Samplify Systems is in exactly the right place at exactly the right time,” observed Clive “Max” Maxfield, electronics industry expert and editor of Programmable Logic DesignLine. “The amount of real-world data to be processed is increasing in leaps and bounds. The only way to cope with this is to intelligently compress digital information to reduce communications bandwidth and storage requirements. That’s where Samplify excels with its FPGA-based compression technology.”

Maxfield added, “FPGAs are now used for approximately 80% of the world’s high/extreme-end DSP applications. Anything that can be done to get data into and out of FPGAs faster and/or more efficiently is going to be significant. Samplify has developed extremely powerful lossless and lossy algorithms that operate with sample rates from 1K to 40G samples per second. The fact that these algorithms can be efficiently implemented in FPGAs using relatively a small amount of programmable fabric is extremely impressive. In my opinion, Samplify’s technology will dramatically change the playing field.”

Availability and Pricing
The Samplify compression engine for FPGAs is available now and is priced at $25,000, representing a license for one user and one company over a period of one year, plus royalty. Samplify for Windows is also available now and is priced at $995. A free 30-day evaluation is available.

About Samplify Systems
Samplify Systems is a venture-funded Silicon Valley startup that delivers simply the bits that matter(TM) in real-world signal processing applications. By bridging the ever-widening gap between faster data converters and the fixed-bandwidth infrastructure that transfers, processes, and stores those samples, Samplify’s patented algorithms and products substantially reduce that gap. Samplify targets embedded applications in the COTS, military, medical imaging, homeland security, ATE, test and measurement, and data acquisition markets.