Xilinx targets Zynq at broadcast applications

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Already firmly established as a technology provider to the broadcast sector, Xilinx believes increasing complexity will provide opportunities for it to increase its presence through the Zynq programmable SoC.
Rob Green, senior marketing manager for broadcast with Xilinx, said: "Broadcast has already become a big fpga market. We believe Zynq and appropriate software will help us to move further into the market."

Green identified four discrete areas in the broadcast sector: acquisition; contribution; distribution; and consumption. Noting there are a number of drivers, Green said: "Broadcasters are increasingly looking to deliver content to any screen in any format at any time; and all this needs to be driven in real time." With the move to higher definition formats, data rates are increasing. "There is an exponential increase in data requirements," Green noted, "For example, the 4K2K format needs to use 12Gbit/s streams and there is talk about 25Gbit/s links for Super HiVision. And 3d formats will double the amount of data." Looking to help address these challenges, Xilinx has collaborated with OmniTek to develop a real time video processing platform based on the Zynq-7000. The companies describe the platform as an opportunity for broadcast OEMs to combine their hardware and software IP with a high performance reprogrammable platform. Green continued: "OEMs need to handle different video processing capabilities through the chain. This board is not just about changing image size, it's also about format and colour depth, amongst other things." Roger Fawcett, managing director of OmniTek, added: "The performance and reprogrammability of Zynq-7000 devices enables us to address broadcasters' requirements to support performance intensive real time applications that need to be 'future proof' to adapt to changing industry standards and specifications." According to Green, Zynq's tight coupling between hardware and software is well suited. "If you're doing video processing, you can't share data between a processor and an fpga. In Zynq, data can be passed quickly between domains." Zynq is also said to bring integration benefits. Green said broadcast equipment typically contains lots of small processors and fpgas. "But there are size constraints; Zynq allows multiple devices to be integrated."