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All about video compression and SMPTE 2022 at NAB 2014. If you’re working with high-res video, read this

Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
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The advantage of digital video is that there are a lot of things you can do with a digital video stream. The disadvantage: there are a lot of things you must to with the video stream.  I’m at NAB 2014 in Las Vegas this week and It’s all about digital video capture, manipulation, production, transmission, storage, and playback. The event consumes the entire Las Vegas Convention Center with booths holding the latest digital video cameras, high-resolution displays, production editing equipment, large and small digital-video storage devices, and all manner of transport and transmission equipment. Every major manufacturer you can think of is here to show its wares.


Xilinx also has a booth at NAB 2014. That’s because Xilinx All Programmable devices permeate the professional, high-resolution video and high-speed video-transport and -distribution markets from digital video cameras to SDI (serial digital interface) ports to 4K and 8K displays. A variety of design IP vendors offering the building blocks needed to create professional video equipment are also at NAB 2014. One of these is intoPIX of Belgium, a member of the Xilinx Alliance program.   


The range of FPGA-targeted intoPIX IP cores includes several compression/decompression cores based on the JPEG2000 standard. If you think that H.264 and H.265 are the only video-compression standards in use, then the existence of other compression schemes such as JPEG2000 might surprise you. However, digital video now reaches into many markets beyond broadcast and JPEG2000 is a very popular compression standard where visually lossless compression is required—security systems for example. The intoPIX JPEG2000 compression cores handle HD, 4K, and 8K video formats and provide low-latency compression, on the order of a few milliseconds. Here’s a graphic illustration of the range of video-compression and transport cores available from intoPIX:



intoPIX Video Transport IP.jpg



I shot three explanatory videos at the intoPIX booth on Monday at NAB. Here’s intoPIX Product Manager Jean-Baptiste Larent explaining a JPEG2000 4K video demo at the company’s booth at NAB 2014:





There’s also a need for lightweight video compression. For example, there’s a need to fit 12Gbps of video (from four 3Gbps or one 12Gbps SDI video port) onto 10G Ethernet or 4K video over 3Gbps SDI. You might also need this type of compression technology when upgrading from HD to 4K or from 4K to 8K video to allow a video buffer memory in an existing design to handle the additional resolution. Add compression and the higher-resolution frames now fit. However, these applications require very high speed compression.


For these types of requirements, the intoPIX TICO compression technology provides 2:1 or 4:1 visually lossless video compression with microsecond latencies when implemented with Xilinx 7 series devices. Here’s another video where Jean-Baptiste Larent explains the intoPIX TICO compression demo at NAB 2014. In this case, the demo also shows the compressed video being transmitted using SMPTE 2022, the new standard for professional-quality, high-resolution video over IP transmission:




The intoPIX TICO compression IP block is significantly smaller than an H.264 or JPEG2000 compressor/decompressor and the demo version of the intoPIX TICO compression engine for 4K video currently consumes only 15K Logic Elements in a Xilinx 7 series device, which is already fairly small for a video-compression engine, so it will easily fit into the smallest Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA or Zynq SoC. The goal is to reduce this footprint further—to 10K logic elements.


Finally, here’s Jean-Baptiste Larent once more, explaining these details for the intoPIX TICO compression IP:




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