DSP Application Design Will Be a Blast With New Xilinx Virtex 6 FPGA XMC & PMC Board

8th December 2009
ES Admin
The first in a series of Xilinx Virtex 6 FPGA based XMC and PMC boards has been launched by 4DSP Inc. The new FM680 features a unique design and manufacturing technique that provides customers with advanced configurability called BLAST (Board Level Advanced Scalable Technology). 4DSP created BLAST to accelerate the manufacturing process for customer specific configurations which normally delay the production cycle and add to production costs.
In addition to BLAST, the FM680 offers advancements in digital signal processing (DSP) over previous FPGA technologies. The Xilinx Virtex 6 provides more usable FPGA resources at substantially reduced power consumption and therefore generated heat.

Because of the visibility of the FM680, it is ideal for rapid prototyping as well as production of video applications where there is a need for abundant FPGA logic resources for specialized image processing. The FM680 is just as well suited for RADAR and SONAR signal processors and specialized software defined radio (SDR) as used in the US Navy’s JTRS Program.

At a starting investment of $5,995, coupling the advancement of the Xilinx Virtex 6 FPGA with BLAST, the FM680 promises to break the price-performance barrier for many more users. Customer will get greater granularity while still keeping a rapid manufacturing process in place

Up to five BLAST mounting sites or ‘BLAST sites’ of BGA type with each 100 single-ended I/O pins connected to the Virtex FPGA can be mounted as an assembly. The BLAST concept allows customers a mix of five combinations of memory devices, JPEG2000 codec, dedicated signal processor, H-264 MPEG-4, 32Gbyte solid-state drives and many more.

As an illustration of the potential benefits of BLAST and the FM680, Douglas Sherrod, Director of Marketing and Business Development at 4DSP commented, “A good example is a recent customer’s request to have 4DSP implement the Texas Instrument TMS320C6457 DSP chip on a double BLAST. This allowed the customer to pull forward legacy DSP code to be re-used along with a complex algorithm implemented inside the Virtex 6 FPGA, thus saving them thousands of dollars of investment in proven legacy DSP code.”

The FM680 follows on the heals of the very successful Virtex 5 based FM489 Series where major configuration options where worked out using 4DSP’s just-in-time (JIT) process BLAST concept. This manufacturing nuance excels in providing customers with the ability to specify architectural features like memory type, added signal processors, microcontrollers, video CODECs, solid-state drives and custom circuits.

Specific variants of the FM680 will be rolled out within the next few months. Amongst them, the VID675 will feature a six codec JPEG2000 hardware compression engine based on the Analog Devices ADV212. The VID675 is suitable for on-the-fly image processing from multiple cameras and high speed real time compression. With sustained performance of 350Mpixels/s, the VID675 allows simultaneous compression of 16 coloured video streams 640x480, thus opening the door to a new realm of imaging systems in a light weight, low power and small form factor. UAVs or digital imaging applications that require lossless compression in real time can all benefit from the most advanced performance offered by the VID675.

Douglas explained, “We see the VID675 as the real workhorse for the next generation of 360 degree situational awareness in image processors for both manned and unmanned combat vehicles. Our service to the troops is to offer clear vision technology that provides the leading edge in the most demanding situations.”

FM680 and VID675 Series processors are fully backed by 4DSP’s engineering services program, where specific FPGA algorithmic processes are developed to meet customer’s unique and specifically defined needs.

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