Calibre has announced its first virtual-ASIC video processor. This 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 allow rapid creation of new video products for the professional audio-visual industry as the new UHD video formats become widely adopted. 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 an economical UHD video processor, originally created and supported by Calibre for a high quality, easy to use design experience,’ says 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,’ he says.

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,’ says Tim Brooksbank, chairman at Calibre. 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,’ he concludes.