The latest 28nm-based FPGA platforms from Xilinx Inc., for example, are aimed specifically at speeding time-to-market, helping both consumer electronics manufacturers and broadcast equipment designers drive up the quality of video, overcome the challenges of processing and moving uncompressed high-definition, 3D and 4K video streams, and lower costs with minimised bill of materials.

As the next innovation wave—4K2K—breaks into the mainstream, delays to market will result in missed revenue opportunities. Xilinx’s proven reference designs are geared to shorten time to market for highly differentiated and high-performance visual systems. For instance, Xilinx’ Display Targeted Design Platform (TDP) consists of a Kintex-7 FPGA hardware platform with an Acquisition, Contribution, Distribution and Consumption (ACDC) 1.0 baseboard developed by Tokyo Electron Device. The Display TDP enables the stitching together of four 1080i video streams into a seamless 4K2K image by simultaneously increasing performance while reducing power consumption as compared with previous solutions.

Xilinx’ Zynq-7000 family further delivers to customers not just an FPGA or an FPGA with a processor but a truly programmable system-on-chip (SoC) wherein the hardware, software and I/O are each fully programmable. It enables the development of monitors and multiviewers (for example) that require incoming video to be de-interlaced and scaled in real time to support monitor formats up to 4K resolution or in 3D with no loss of video quality. Now multiple windows, 3D graphics for games and immersive ultra-realistic viewing beyond HD, to name a few, are possible—all ultimately changing the way consumers watch and interact with TVs.

Something to look forward to
The display industry is indeed shaping up quite excitingly. Brighter, high-performance, high-definition, low-power, 3D, sun-readable, interactive, immersive—there is just too much happening. And, the trend appears to be on a high!

“There have been a lot of innovations in display over the last several years from electrophoretic displays that are used in eReaders like the Kindle, to new MEMS-based displays like the Qualcomm Mirasol display to OLED displays. All of these technologies will compete against the tried and true LCDs, which will be very hard to displace given the existing investment in manufacturing infrastructure. However, OLED displays are a very competing technology to watch out for, given their power performance and the fact that they can be bent to shape,” says Behman. “4K2K displays, or displays that are 4x the resolution of full HD, are also interesting technologies. These displays will offer more detail than full HD. Many models will be hitting shelves this holiday season in the US.”


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