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H.264 Encoder Reference Design on Virtex-5 TAI Logic Module

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CAST has released a newer version of its H.264 Encoder IP optimized to achieve high-quality video, which was developed by CAST's partner, Alma Technologies. The H.264 encoder IP core, together with several other CAST IP cores, are implemented in a Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA on TAI Logic Module. The reference design reads a video file in standard YUV format and accepts various compression parameters set through a GUI on the host system. It then produces H.264 video, which is sent through the PCIe connection for streaming display or file storage. The reference design will greatly reduce IP evaluation time and ease design prototyping for SoC designers.

H264

The reference design implements several CAST IP cores in a Xilinx Virtex-5 device on the TAI Logic Module:

The H264-E is a new version of our H.264/AVS encoder core optimized to achieve high-quality video results with minimum silicon resources. It can process up to 1080p HDTV video (1920 x1080 pixels, progressive). In the demo, the H.264 core reads a video file in standard YUV format and accepts various compression parameters set through a GUI on the host system. It then produces H.264 video, which is sent through the PCIe connection for streaming display or file storage.

The CPXP-EP PCI Express Endpoint Controller core handles communication to and from a host PC or laptop system. It only needs a single lane (x1), but four (x4) and eight (x8) lane versions are available for applications requiring greater bandwidth.

The DDR2-SDRAM-CTRL is a DDR/DDR2 SDRAM Memory Controller core that works with the H.264 encoder.

The CMMI AHB is an unreleased CAST Multi-Media Interface core. CAST developed to enable smoother integration between the H.264, JPEG2000, JPEG, and other cores with a system bus (AMBA AHB in this case).

Reference Design RTL Level Block Diagram

H264_RTL

Target Applications

The H264-E core is suitable for a wide range of high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) video rates and applications, including:

  • Surveillance and monitoring
  • Video conferencing
  • PC Camera