Xilinx, Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX) announced that Phabrix Limited, a leading provider of portable broadcast equipment based in the U.K., has leveraged Xilinx low-cost, low-power programmable solutions to enable the industry’s first handheld 3G-SDI test signal analyzers. The multi-format instrument, recipient of the industry’s prestigious IABM Peter Wayne award, is the first portable test signal analyzer to support standard definition (SD), high definition (HD) and emerging 3G serial digital interface (SDI) standards.
The Phabrix design team leveraged the integrated features of Xilinx Spartan(R)-3A field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and CoolRunner(TM)-II complex programmable logic devices (CPLDs) to integrate audio and video functionality with rugged reliability into their latest award-winning generators, analyzers and monitors. The Phabrix SxA product was recently announced as the winner in one of the broadcast industry’s most coveted award competitions — The IABM Technology Peter Wayne Award for Design and Innovation. Phabrix credits the use of Xilinx Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs) and National Semiconductor’s 3G-SDI chipset in enabling their ability to achieve this industry-first milestone.
“Xilinx solutions allowed us to track with the latest standards and customer requirements, which in the case of our Phabrix-Sx products is support for 3G video,” said Philip Adams, managing director of Phabrix. “The inherent programmable capabilities of Xilinx silicon allowed us to fully develop numerous audio/video processing algorithms through multiple design iterations. We were able to develop precisely the functionality we needed, quickly and at the right price points. With this flexibility Phabrix will continue to adapt the SxA platform to address customer needs and the continually evolving SDI specifications.”
“The Phabrix team has been very prompt to recognize the value proposition of the 3G-SDI connectivity chipset that resulted from a collaborative effort between Xilinx and National Semiconductor,” commented Oliver Garreau, senior engineering manager in the High Volume Group at Xilinx. “Combining our low-power Spartan-3A FPGA with National’s high-performance 3G-SDI serializer and deserializer provides an optimized and cost-effective solution in Phabrix’s SDI instruments.”
Automated Hardware Upgrades through the Internet
Field programmability not only played a vital role in enabling Phabrix to adapt to the rapidly evolving standards and feature requirements of the broadcast market, Xilinx FPGAs made it possible for Phabrix customers to receive automated firmware upgrades through the Phabrix website. “The user simply agrees to the upgrade and the unit does everything else — another industry first,” Adams added.
Both the Phabrix-Sx handheld and Phabrix-Rx 2U rack mounted systems incorporate a wide range of advanced functions, including: SDI test signal generation and TX; zone plate generation, video RX analysis and capture; video scaling for all 3G/HD/SD SDI video formats on a 4.3″ TFT display; video keying and mixing; EDH/CRC insertion and analysis; scrambling; word alignment; waveform monitor and vector display; PLL control and clock generation; audio embedding, de-embedding and processing.
Xilinx provides a wide array of solutions for the broadcast industry, including video, audio and network connectivity; real-time high definition video processing; and high-speed digital signal processing for transmission and modulation. In addition, Xilinx offers reference designs and IP cores as building blocks for developing complete broadcast systems. Xilinx is the worldwide leader in complete programmable logic solutions.
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