Innovative video graphic solutions for SFF, XMC and VPX bus architectures

“Modular COTS building blocks for military and aerospace requirements enable analog/digital video capture, CUDA/OpenCL processing, H.264/H.265 encoding and OpenGL GPU display solutions”

Overview

Today’s aerospace, and defense industries are experiencing an ever-increasing demand for situational awareness capabilities for applications such as surveillance and autonomous navigation. In fact, the majority of new military and aerospace projects will require some degree of image capture, video processing, encoding and display capabilities as a part of the system. This growing demand is driving the need for solutions to include cutting edge camera technologies, Harvard or parallel processing, image analysis, filtering and the simultaneous recording or encoding of multiple images at increasingly high resolutions and frame rates.

WOLF Advanced Technology has pioneered a new approach to address the plethora of video I/O and processing requirements by modularizing board designs, software, firmware, and intellectual property to enable rapid configuration of video: Capture, Process, Encode and Display. This modular approach benefits our customers by enabling reduced cost and quick time-to-market solutions that are tailored to meet exacting customer video input and output application requirements.

FGX: Frame Grabber eXtreme

The Frame Grabber eXtreme (FGX) is WOLF’s FPGA-based capture engine designed to support various combinations of simultaneous high-speed digital as well as legacy analog image capture streams. Based on Xilinx Kintex and Artix FPGA families, the FGX incorporates WOLF’s configurable and modular IP building blocks to facilitate rapid development of modified-COTS solutions tailored to customer specific image capture requirements. The wide variety of digital and legacy analog input capture streams supported by the FGX’s IP subsets include, but are not limited to:

Digital

  • SD/HD/3G/6G/12G-SDI
  • LVDS
  • TMDS (DVI-D)
  • HDMI
  • DP
  • CAMERLINK
  • COAX EXPRESS
  • GigE VISION
  • ARINC 818

Analog

  • RGBHV Component
  • STANAG 3350 A:B or C
  • CVBS Composite
    (NTSC/PAL/SECAM)

In addition to image capture, the FGX includes IP blocks for extracting ancillary metadata from SMPTE-292M compliant input streams. Other building blocks include the ability to receive DVI, LVDS or DP from a GPU and convert to SMPTE-292M compliant output streams with inserted KLV compliant metadata. The FGX communicates with a GPU over PCIe bus and injects the metadata into the output stream as video frames are generated. Furthermore, these output streams can be H.264 or H.265 encoded in real time.

FGX-based mezzanine modules and boards

With a variety of available combinations of image capture IP building blocks, the FGX can be implemented as a mezzanine module, or as part of a custom-designed board solution.  Several examples of module and board based FGX capture solutions are pictured later in this document. FGX based solutions support multiple combinations of digital and analog inputs that can simultaneously capture up to four digital 12G/6G/3G/HD/SD-SDI streams at 8K resolution and 60 fps, and up to eight analog CVBS/RGBHV streams. All FGX variants communicate to a GPU over PCIe using four or eight lanes. FGX solutions are suitable for both conduction and air-cooled: VPX, XMC, PMC, COMExpress baseboard, SFF modules or custom board designs.

FGX-GPU’s: NVIDIA or AMD combination GPU/FGX mezzanine modules and boards

Module based FGX/GPU implementations include MXC, XMC, VPX bus, or mezzanine architectures using NVIDIA TK1-FGX, NVIDIA Maxwell GM107-FGX or AMD E8860-FGX. In these designs, FGX IP blocks are implemented to provide a structured interface with an NVIDIA or AMD GPU, opening up a wide variety of image capture, video processing, encoding and display solutions.

The FGX allows multiple SDI input capture streams, which it can encode as a H.264 or H.265 transport stream and simultaneously convert each to a SDI output, Ethernet UDP stream, or formatted for SSD storage. The image capture transport stream can be sent to the Tegra K1 GPU via a PCIe connection for image processing. The Tegra K1 also offers USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, Ethernet, SATA, GPIO and two UART interfaces. As well, the MXC-FGX module can be used as IP building blocks for a 3U VPX board solution such as the VPX3U-DUAL-FGX-TK1 with two MXC-FGX-TK1 modules. This combination, incorporated on a 3U VPX carrier card offers 10 ARM processors, two 325GigaFLOP CUDA Kepler engines, 16GBytes of RAM, two independent image capture and process solutions with four HD-SDI inputs and outputs as well as two HDMI, two USB 2.0 interfaces, two SATA ports and four UART interfaces. Other extensive combinations of video I/O and processing are possible when implemented on COM Express baseboards and 3U or 6U VPX carrier boards.

As new embedded NVIDIA or AMD GPU’s become available WOLF’s modular board, IP and mezzanine solutions not only offer a plethora of solutions, but also provide a quick Mean-Time-To-Repair (MTTR) and allow the ability to readily upgrade to the latest technologies.

VPX 3U Modular Solution
Figure 1 – VPX 3U Modular Solution
Available as: AMD 3U VPX-E8860-FGX; NVIDIA Maxwell 3U VPX-GM107-FGX; 3U Dual TegraK1; and many other combinations
XMC-TK1-FGX
Figure 2 – XMC-TK1-FGX
NVIDIA Tegra K1 and WOLF FGX
MXC-E6760-MVHD
Figure 3 – MXC-E6760-MVHD
GPU and FGX integrated solution

Conclusion

WOLF configurable and modular IP building blocks – which comprise the heart of WOLF’s FGX Frame Grabber eXtreme – provide limitless combinations of high-speed capture, process, encode, and display solutions to meet any video requirements. The FGX can be implemented as part of a rugged modified COTS VPX, VME or CPCI solution, or custom form factors often found in SWaP-constrained aerospace and defense applications. Manned or unmanned vehicles, requiring object recognition, tracking and weapons targeting are all applications that WOLF addresses with FGX technology. The ever-changing and increasing sensor requirements of these types of applications also demand a reduced time-to-market, that is ideally-suited to WOLF IP modules.  Finally, as image resolution and frame rate requirements increase, WOLF Advanced Technology is well positioned to add functionality to its existing FGX IP library and its modular boards to meet these challenges.