Altera Stratix II GX FPGA Powers Harris Platinum Routing Switchers

Altera Corporation (NASDAQ:ALTR) announced that Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS), an international communications and information technology company, has selected the Stratix® II GX FPGA for use in their Harris® Platinum(tm) line of large scale routing switchers. The Harris Platinum line supports a wide range of video signal formats, up to 1080p (3 Gbps) using Altera’s triple rate 3G SDI IP core. The Harris Platinum line allows for signal routing of any size, and supports most digital video signal formats. This robust FPGA-based architecture provides the flexibility required to future-proof broadcast hardware investments.

Using the Stratix II GX FPGA, Harris Platinum routing switchers combine the best of both high-bandwidth video signal routing and an internal Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) architecture to provide the world’s only embedded audio infrastructure router. This design relies heavily on the high-speed transceivers designed into the Stratix II GX FPGA. The Altera Stratix GX transceivers offer superior signal integrity including pre-emphasis and equalization, while meeting the stringent SDI jitter requirements for SD, HD and 1080p video.

“Using Altera’s leading-edge FPGA technology, we were able to be productive right from the beginning of the project,” said Mark Sizemore, engineering manager at Harris Broadcast Communications. “Altera offers a complete 1080p development framework including IP, devices and tools to accelerate and optimize development time, which for us helped our time to market and product success. This combined capability provides significant savings in space, power, cost and complexity. System designs can reduce the number of modules, frames, wiring and system integration while providing enhanced functionality.”

Stratix II GX FPGAs support 3G SDI data speeds with up to 20 triple-rate SDI full-duplex transceiver channels operating across a range of 270 Mbps to 3 Gbps. Its transceiver circuitry supports data rates up to 6.375 Gbps and integrates hard-coded clock/data recovery (CDR) and serializer/deserializer (SERDES) functions.

Addressing HD Signal Quality Challenges
Maintaining high-definition signal integrity with a complete development framework, including a high-quality, triple rate 3G SDI IP core enables dramatic increases in engineering team productivity and allows greater flexibility for the line of routing switchers.

“Working with leading companies like Harris, Altera is enabling the industry overhaul to 3-Gbps SDI technology,” said Arun Iyengar senior director of Altera’s communications business unit. “The demand for 1080p functionality is a key driver for large scale broadcast routing for using SDI transport. By providing entire development platforms, Altera is collaborating with companies like Harris to focus on value add differentiated design, like this unique and flexible audio/video broadcast switching system.”

The Stratix II GX I/O bank structure allows for 128 data lines between the top and bottom memory controllers (1.8 SSTL), LVTTL at 3.3V for control, LVDS for the TDM interface plus the 3G transceivers, which use an independent PLL per Rx line allowing multiple transceivers to be assigned per quad to easily support either the eight inputs or eight outputs offered in the Harris Platinum I/O modules. This functionality limits the number of signals that can be affected by any one module, thus increasing system reliability.

For more information about Stratix II GX FPGAs, see us at the NAB Show, April 14-17, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, Booth Number SL12705.

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