The advent of 4K video and the development of 12G-SDI, which can carry 4K video over one coax, is creating a niche for converters that can convert 12G-SDI into four 3G-SDI streams and Fidus showed me a small board based on a Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA that does exactly that at last week’s NAB 2015. Here’s a photo of that board:
Just a day later at the show, Fidus came by the Xilinx booth showing the board packaged in a nice case:
Now there’s certainly a need for this converter, but there’s also a need for a converter that goes the other way—converting four 3G-SDI streams into one 12G-SDI stream—because many 4K cameras currently source video over four 3G-SDI ports. Minor board layout changes to swap in SerDes receivers for SerDes transmitter pairs on the 3G side and some FPGA reprogramming are all that’s needed (plus a different silkscreen for the case) because the design already has a 12G-SDI output, located in the upper left corner of the above image of the encased product. This ease in changing the product from one function to another is a hallmark of FPGA-based design.