Edgeware Selects Altera FPGAs for Video-on-Demand Server

Edgeware AB is tapping into the performance and robust memory capabilities of Stratix(R) II and Cyclone(R) III FPGAs from Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) to achieve previously unattainable performance and scalability with its groundbreaking video-on-demand server Orbit 2x, the companies announced today. With Edgeware’s Orbit 2x server system, on-demand and interactive television service providers can deliver up to 20-Gbps output, streaming to as many as 8,192 concurrent viewers at the lowest cost per stream. These metrics are orders of magnitude better than those of competing systems, from a solution offering the market’s smallest footprint.

“For a young company like Edgeware, being able to differentiate its products cost effectively and so early on is vital for long-term success,” said Todd Scott , senior director of Altera’s broadcast business unit. “Altera’s programmable solutions enabled Edgeware to develop a disruptive technology that can revolutionize the on-demand and interactive television industry.”

Traditional video-on-demand servers often rely on microprocessor-based commodity hardware, with video streaming performed at the software level from hard disks. This approach results in a high cost per user, reliability limitations, and high power consumption. Edgeware overcame these issues by designing its carrier-grade Orbit 2x server with an innovative FPGA-based, solid-state flash memory storage architecture to achieve hardware-speed streaming.

“The robust memory interfaces of the Stratix II FPGAs, along with the abundant on-chip memory in the Cyclone III FPGAs, make the Altera solution ideal for our Orbit 2x server,” said Kalle Henriksson, CTO at Edgeware. “We couldn’t accomplish our performance objectives with alternative devices. In addition, Altera’s Quartus(R) II development tool enabled us to maximize our engineering efficiency—we spent 95 percent of our time on actual design, which is the best I’ve experienced in 15 years of FPGA design. With its robust synthesis and advanced timing closure capabilities, Quartus II design software fostered a highly productive design process.”

Edgeware’s modular, 3-Tbyte NAND flash memory storage subsystem, a streaming engine, and two 10-Gbps network interfaces are implemented on Stratix II and Cyclone III FPGAs. The server solution also incorporates Altera(R) partner MorethanIP’s 10-Gigabit Ethernet media access control (MAC) intellectual property (IP) core running on the Stratix II FPGA. The reconfigurability of the Altera FPGAs is an essential part of Edgeware’s product strategy, enabling them to deliver in-field upgrades and specific customer enhancements for the Orbit 2x server. A self-contained box, the Orbit 2x server integrates efficiently into any telecommunications or cable network. Its architecture supports a scalable, distributed deployment, allowing service providers to add capacity as needed to any location in their network.

Other applications for the Orbit 2x server include subscribed television on demand, time-shift television, network personal video recorder (NPVR), hospitality services, aviation video on demand (VoD) and multicast playout for near video on demand (NVOD). Edgeware will demonstrate the distributed server system at IBC2007, Sept. 7 to 11 at RAI Congress Centre, Amsterdam (stand #IP241).

About Edgeware AB
Edgeware is a technology leader supplying revolutionary servers for on-demand television, with unmatched cost efficiency. Addressed applications include time-shift television, VoD and NPVR for cable and telecommunications (Internet protocol television (IPTV)) deployments. Edgeware’s groundbreaking streaming solutions enable network operators to deliver commercially successful and highly reliable on-demand television services to a rapidly growing number of viewers. The Orbit 2x server systems are chosen by leading service providers, in areas ranging from hospitality to Tier 1 operators, recognizing the need for truly decentralized and scalable server solutions.

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

Altera, The Programmable Solutions Company, the stylized Altera logo, specific device designations and all other words that are identified as trademarks and/or service marks are, unless noted otherwise, the trademarks and service marks of Altera Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.