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   31st Mar 09

 Altera and National shake hands to route video signal inside the car

In today's cars, few of the driver tasks are getting taken over by electronics, this driver assistance electronics system receive and process high quality video from different cameras, and other sources inside the car. So is the requirement of powerful FPGA based processor and high speed video bus interface. Digital video signal got to be routed, without any hitches and glitches from its source to processor and out from processor to some display unit or control unit.
By sensing this requirement, FPGA expert Altera is collaborating with interface analog leader National Semiconductor to make their devices interface to each other seamlessly.

In this joint development, Altera's Cyclone III FPGA and National's FPD-Link II embedded clock SERDES architecture are interfaced to deliver high-speed, long-range data-exchange solutions that provide high bandwidth, low electromagnetic interference (EMI), and increased reliability.

"National has a proven track record for enabling the high-speed data link between video source and sink in automotive applications," said Erroll Dietz, vice president of National's High-Speed Product Division. "Our expertise in mixed-signal IC design, video transport, signal integrity and automotive qualification processes has made National's FPD-Link II SERDES products the first choice among major OEMs and tier-1 suppliers for point-to-point data transfer. Altera's proficiency in embedded digital video processing is a natural complement to National's FPD-Link II SERDES. Our shared customers are well positioned to benefit from our strategic collaboration, which is fueled by strong growth in embedded video for infotainment and driver-assist applications."

Through their initial collaboration, Altera and National Semiconductor developed a reference design showing the transmission of a digital video bitstream over a 10-meter CAT6 cable to National's DS90C124 FPD-Link II deserializer. The deserializer output interfaces directly to a Cyclone III FPGA, which processes the incoming signals and sends the resulting video to a display.

Michael Samuelian, director of Altera's automotive and industrial business unit added, "This work with National represents the first in a multi-step collaboration between the two companies to facilitate the routing of high-resolution digital video within automotive applications. Our experience in processing automotive video, graphics and human-machine interfaces combined with National's widely deployed FPD-Link II SERDES family delivers automotive manufacturers a proven solution for deploying digital video in their next-generation vehicles."

The FPGA companies were generally digital logic experts with no much close interaction with analog technology, where as analog semiconductor device companies were not bothered about digital logic much, but with the SoC kind of chip offering the boundaries are blurring between logic and analog semiconductor experts.

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