While millions of sports fans around the world enjoy watching their favorite teams on live television, slow motion playback allows them to relive crucial moments. Providing the underlying technology for that capability, Altera Corporation (NASDAQ:ALTR) announced Thomson (Euronext Paris:18453) (NYSE:TMS) selected its families of FPGAs for use in its new slow motion camera. Thomson’s latest high-definition, high-speed LDK 8300 cameras use Altera’s Cyclone® III, Stratix® II GX, and Stratix III FPGAs to capture and replay athletes in action.
Similar to athletes striving to be the best in their sport, Thomson is once again raising the innovation bar in slow-motion cameras, a technology the company pioneered in 1998. The new Thomson Grass Valley LDK 8300 camera captures images at three times the frame rate of traditional HD cameras, delivering the smoothest and cleanest slow motion replay.
“As the leader in high-speed, super slow-motion cameras, we know every second and every inch counts in sports. We wanted to team up with a custom logic leader that would enable our cameras to perform at their best,” said Jan Eveleens, general manager for cameras at Thomson. “Altera was the obvious choice. The Cyclone and Stratix devices enabled the fastest video processing frame rate and the highest picture quality even under artificial lights while meeting our tight power consumption budget.”
Several Altera FPGAs can be found inside the LDK 8300 cameras. The Stratix III FPGA is at the heart of the camera, processing video at 150 High Definition (HD) fields per second (three times HD) delivering the highest quality slow-motion replays, yet consuming minimal power. The low jitter performance of the Stratix II GX FPGA with an integrated Altera SDI MegaCore® function enables Thomson’s new fibre interface to deliver extremely high data rates from the LDK 8300 back to the servers in the Outside Broadcast (OB) trucks. The Cyclone III devices with an embedded Altera Nios® soft processor contribute to the control and monitoring of the camera’s operations.
“These new cameras from Thomson are a great showcase of Altera’s family of FPGA devices,” said Arun Iyengar, senior director of Altera’s communications business unit. “Thomson is leveraging the performance and power capabilities of our Stratix II GX, Stratix III and Cyclone III FPGAs combined with our broadcast solutions to deliver its latest advanced slow motion cameras and change the way sports are covered on television.”
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