Xilinx, Apical Team on Smart Backlight Display System

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Xilinx, Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX) and Apical Limited unveiled breakthrough visual display technology with the Apical Smart Backlight(TM) Display System that reduces power consumption and enhances the viewing experience on HDTVs. The new imaging solution combines the patented Apical iridix(R) image processing technology with low-cost Xilinx(R) Spartan(R)-3 field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) to deliver over 50 percent total device power savings and improve image clarity for mid-to large LCD panel applications.

The Smart Backlight system takes advantage of the low power capabilities of Spartan-3A and Spartan-3E FPGAs to support the use of ‘eco’ modes in HDTV products and lower overall operating costs. Maximum power savings can be as much as 75 percent, significantly greater than other power reduction techniques such as adaptive backlighting. In addition, the iridix processing engine implemented on Spartan-3 devices enables Smart Backlight displays to respond to changes in ambient conditions, such as sunlight. Its advanced algorithms model the ability of the human eye to perfectly adapt video images, even in bright viewing environments, in order to adjust power consumption and dynamically correct color and contrast.

“We are pleased to be able to demonstrate that an FPGA-based solution can meet the demanding cost constraints of high volume consumer markets and deliver state-of-the-art visual display technology. In addition to this price-performance benefit, Xilinx Spartan-3 devices provide us with a flexible platform for quickly implementing our iridix processing core to help speed evaluation and adoption of lower power display technologies,” said Dr Michael Tusch, CEO at Apical.

“Reduction in power consumption is a critical requirement in the HDTV market, but product developers still need to differentiate on image quality. Apical has developed a unique approach to doing both with its Smart Backlight system and iridix processing technology,” said Albert Franceschino, director of Emerging Markets Business Development at Xilinx. “Our programmable platforms allow Apical developers to capitalize on the competitive advantages of their technology in a highly cost-effective way without any compromises in performance or capabilities, which is not the case with standard chipset designs and more rigid ASIC alternatives.”

The Apical iridix core has been widely adopted for advanced image processing applications in consumer, broadcast and IMS (industrial, medical, scientific) markets. It has been used in more than 60 million products by Tier 1 product developers to date. The company’s introduction of its highly efficient HDTV solution continues this proven track record of success and is the culmination of nearly 25 man years of development protected by international patents. The new offering will be featured in product demonstrations this week by Xilinx at CES, January 8-11 in Booth #35171MP (Meeting Place Booth).

Availability
HDTV product developers can immediately begin designing with the new Apical Smart Backlight display technology. A complete reference design is available from Apical and Avnet. In addition, a mezzanine development board suitable for evaluation and system integration may be obtained from Avnet Design Services.

About Apical
Apical is a UK-based developer of advanced image processing products for professional and consumer applications. The company’s proprietary technology enhances the performance of a wide range of imaging devices by optimizing still image or video content between capture and display. Devices using Apical’s technology preserve the image detail and clarity which is lost by conventional image processing, so that the user sees the full quality of the source material.

About Xilinx
Xilinx is the worldwide leader in complete programmable logic solutions.

XILINX, the Xilinx Logo, Virtex, Spartan, ISE and other designated brands included herein are trademarks of Xilinx in the United States and other countries. Smart Backlight is a trademark of Apical Limited.