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Calibre Debuts First Virtual-ASIC Processor Technology

  • Calibre has launched its first virtual-ASIC video processor capable of scaling, switching, enhancing, correcting, and converting Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) formats including 4K and WQXGA at compelling price points through efficient implementation.
  • Calibre’s virtual-ASIC technology is based on Altera field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and will be offered as Calibre Pro-AV products as well as OEM own-label, board-level, and full custom options for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). This will enable rapid creation of new video products for the professional audiovisual industry as the new UHD video formats become widely adopted.
  • Calibre has a proven track record in advanced video design with real video processor ASICs such as Silicon Optix’ Reon built on award-winning HQV (Hollywood Quality Video) algorithms. As the industry is moving to designing UHD products, design engineers find that qualified ASICs no longer exist to meet their needs. This situation together with UHD forcing new system architecture has opened a unique opportunity for Calibre.
  • “Calibre’s virtual-ASIC is an innovative solution that addresses the Pro-AV industry’s needs for a cost-effective UHD video processor, originally created and supported by Calibre for a high quality, easy to use design experience,” said Herve Mer, market development manager at Altera Corporation. “Calibre’s decision to choose Altera FPGAs, enabling a programmable semiconductor platform, means its customers will have the flexibility for rapid integration to meet their specific needs.”
  • Calibre has designed the unique component set in-house enabling it to be more efficient, and responsive to customer needs. It offers compatibility with future processing requirements as well as FPGA device families to ensure design re-use as standards and customer requirements progress.
  • Key technology advances include Calibre’s HQUltra low latency high-performance and highly efficient scaling algorithm and HQUltraFast input channel switching capable of changing inputs in under 0.25 seconds.
  • Projection Mapping is another perfect target application, supported by Calibre’s HQUltraWarp algorithm in the warp-enabled version of Calibre’s virtual-ASIC. High quality real-time UHD warping requires extreme processing capability which is available due to the combination of Calibre’s efficient algorithms and architecture together with the inherent high performance of Altera’s FPGAs. For example HQUltraWarp supports real-time live adjustment of geometric mapping points for warp and blend providing easy manual warp alignment without the need for external calibration software.
  • A broader range of demanding video processing applications will equally benefit from Calibre’s virtual-ASIC video processors.
  • Initial technology is based on the Altera Cyclone V FPGA and provides internal processing of 300 megapixels per second on the primary channel and 150 megapixels per second on the secondary channel. This means that the processing device can support 4K50/60 4:2:0, 2.5K60 4:4:4 and 1080p/WUXGA 4:4:4 as well as Full-HD picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture functionality. A 600 megapixels per second version based on forthcoming Altera Arria 10 is also in development for 4K50/60 4:4:4 and higher support.
  • Another benefit of Calibre’s virtual-ASIC is its integration of multiple input channels with virtually instant sub 0.25 second switching between them. This makes Calibre’s technology perfect for integration into high performance scaler-switchers. For in-camera and broadcast applications, genlock capability is included. Leaving nothing to chance, Calibre has ensured that the hardware is ready for future implementation of streaming video.
  • “Calibre processing technology has been applied to real market needs and the new processing technology will once again lead the way as more manufacturers choose their UHD processing technology,” said Tim Brooksbank, chairman at Calibre. “Over three and half years of intensive R&D development was conducted to create this virtual-ASIC video processor technology—an extremely ambitious project. ISE 2015 is the ideal meeting place to launch publicly. Calibre’s partners and OEMs are all demanding new technologies as markets move forwards, they are all keen to work more closely with Calibre but need new models to come to market faster, with more capabilities and key 'must have' features such as 4K resolution.”