Companies Extend Collaboration to Enhance 3D Entertainment Experience With Flexibility and Low-Cost Benefits of Xilinx 90nm Programmable Platforms
Xilinx, Inc. and SENSIO, maker of the SENSIO 3D stereoscopic processor, today announced the continuation of their six-year collaboration that has resulted in the development of breakthrough 3D video processing technology. The latest innovation from SENSIO, the SENSIO S3D-PRO processor, is implemented with Xilinx® Spartan-3(TM) programmable devices, the lowest-cost FPGA solution for a wide range of applications. When used in conjunction with conventional high-definition players, this next-generation processor enables 3D video output from any device in any format to provide a low-cost, cinema-quality video experience.
The SENSIO S3D-PRO processor, launched in conjunction with a state-of-the-art projector system from consumer electronic giant JVC at CEDIA 2005 in September, supports multiple video formats and is available in a number of configurations that target presentation venues with 5 to more than 300 seats, such as screening rooms, museums and theme parks. The launch of the S3D-PRO follows a successful introduction of its SENSIO S3D-100 Video Processing System at the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show, where it won the prestigious CES Product Innovation Award. This award-wining product also was based on the Xilinx Spartan family of devices.
"Xilinx programmable devices have been key to our pioneering technology and market success, and we had no doubt that their latest generation FPGAs could take our products to the next level," said Nicholas Routhier, President and CTO at SENSIO. "That meant working at higher frequencies, more powerful calculation capabilities, more block RAM and dedicated memory, and lots of external pins. And, of course, the flexibility to quickly change or upgrade the 3D options available in the processor based on customer requirements. Spartan-3 FPGAs provide all of this and more in a competitively priced and easy-to-use solution."
Breakthrough 3D Video Processor
The patent-pending universal output architecture of the SENSIO S3D-PRO processor makes it adaptable to a wide range of devices and applications and eliminates the need for multiple video servers and channels. Compared to alternative 3D approaches, it uses less processing power and eliminates synchronization problems to provide a low cost video server solution.
The performance and flexibility of the SENSIO processor required a versatile development platform for which Xilinx's Spartan-3 FPGAs are an ideal solution. Efficiently utilizing advanced 90-nanometer (nm) semiconductor technology, Spartan-3 devices provide SENSIO with the optimal mix of density and features at the lowest cost for their next-generation systems. The success with SENSIO underscores the unprecedented adoption of the Spartan-3 Series FPGAs across diverse markets such as consumer, digital video, industrial, medical and communications and computing.
"We have a great working relationship with SENSIO and are pleased to help them advance the state of the art in 3D video processing. Theirs is an ideal application of the power and versatility of our Spartan-3 FPGAs because it requires high performance, aggressive pricing, a wide range of features and on-the-fly programmability to stay in step with this fast moving market," said Clay Johnson, vice president and general manager of the General Products Division at Xilinx. "We look forward to continuing to enhance the SENSIO product line with our programmable platforms."
The Right Features at the Right Cost
Accurate and flexible clock timing is a critical design requirement to enable the variety of video resolutions supported by the SENSIO processor. Engineers were able to adjust frequencies without changing the external clock generator, using the Spartan-3 FPGA to drive clocks to other external components. Spartan-3 devices also provided the high frequency capabilities needed, both at the core of the processor as well as for input/output signals with rates of 100MHz and 200MHz, respectively. The SENSIO S3D-PRO processor also benefits from 36-bit dedicated multipliers available with Spartan-3 FPGAs to support large numbers of on-chip calculations.
SENSIO developers used the Xilinx Integrated Software Environment(TM) (ISE) that provides an intuitive suite of design tools for rapid development of Spartan-3-based designs. The SENSIO team extensively leveraged the advanced capabilities available with the latest release of the ISE software to save critical development time, including upgraded synthesis and compilation tools.