Xilinx dev board with high quality video?

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I'm doing a proof of concept that requires high quality video out.
Either RGB or composite is fine (both would be great).

Spartan III or V4 preferred, with add-on modules OK.

The ML401 is a great board, and great value, but the
rgb output just sucks.

Anyone got any recommendations?

Thanks



Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?
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http://www.hydraxc.com

its not on the website yet, but there is base board for it that can be used
standalone with following specs

Chrontel CH7301 for DVI or RGB out
V4 (SF363) can be fitted with LX15, LX25 or FX12
2 DDR2 memories
header for micron camera
header for char LCD
rs232 uart



there is no composite out though, if you need that then xilinx multimedia
board has it, also several other boards are available

Antti






Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?

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Thanks Antti, and welcome back.
Do you know the quality of the video on any of these boards first hand?
The ADI DAC that is used on the ML401 is a fine part (I've
used it in many of my own designs). I just think the layout
is not optimal for the RGB output.



Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?


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Do you know when it will be available, and  how
much it will cost?



Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?
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The board is 'functional test' phase, eg I still need to verify the DDR2
memories to be operational. As of manufacturing the boards we have
everything ready, but there will be no general shipping until the board
testing is completed. And sorry i have no pricing info.

Antti












Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?
who the F*** designed your web site.... I know putting frames around product
briefs lets you keep your logo.. but that's almost 2/3's of the screen
gone...

Simon

translated: fire your web designer :-)

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used



Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?
"Simon Peacock" <simon$actrix.co.nz> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
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product

Thanks Simon!

no translation required, I agree with you 2000 %,
but I have no influence to solve the issue. :(

Antti
PS its not my website. Its from the company I work for at the moment.
(my contract ends 31.12.2005)



Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?
I always think some positive feedback is important :-)

Simon


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Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?
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I am interested in this problem.  What do you mean the
RGB sucks?  There is a real RGB chip on the board right?
Is there something wrong with that chip?

I read on the Xilinx web site that some of the analog gnds
are mixed up with the digital gnds.  Is it possible to lift these
pins and ground them to the right places and improve the
RGB output?

Brad Smallridge
aivision.com



Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?

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The video out has asynchronous resonant spikes running
through it. The spikes are about 100 mV p-p, and have a
resonant frequency of about 250 MHz, with about 6 half-cycles
present.


There is also about 15 mV p-p of pixel clock and harmonics.




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I don't think so. It's a fine chip that I've used in many designs.

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I have not tried that. It's often tricky to get a decent,
low-impedance alternative ground.

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Pete



Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?
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Hard to believe when Xilinx tells us that they are signal integrity
leader...

(Sorry, just could not resist ;-)

Thomas



Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?
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In case anyone is wondering, the comments being made about the VGA
quality on the ML401, ML402, and ML403 (they share the same PCB) are
correct.  All of the initial tests that we did with the VGA output
didn't show any screen effects with the monitors that we were using.
After we released the boards, we received customer feedback on the
VGA quality and after looking over the issue discovered that the
analog portions of the PCB were not optimal.

We have improved the VGA quality on the upcoming ML405 and ML410 boards
that will be released early next year.

Ed

Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?
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I have done the "tie all grounds together" mistake myself, so I know
how you feel.

But I am wondering why the ML401 uses a 50MHz DAC instead of a 140MHz
one like the other two boards. I can't imagine the difference in cost
is significant in a $500 product and being limited to 800x600 isn't
much fun. I am looking into adding a second video output using the
expansion connectors to get around this but the result will be a bit
awkward.

-- Jecel


Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?
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With every board that is designed you have to make some trade offs
between peripherals, performance, power and cost.  The ML401/2/3
boards are loaded with features at a very reasonable price point
and in order to do that we had to make some compromises in certain
areas.

When we designed the VGA output on these boards the thought was that
it would make it easier for our FAEs to demo the Virtex-4 technology
by being able to plug it into a projector for a whole room instead
of having everyone crowd around a tiny LCD display. With this in mind
we opted for a lower performance solution as it would keep the cost
down and not add yet another clock source to the board. This was also
carried through to the ML403 (FX12) version that has a lower total IO
count (320 vs 448) and the bottom 3 bits of the RGB values are tied to
GND providing only 15-bit color instead of 24-bit color on the ML401/2.

As it turns out we have had more customer interest interest than we
expected in this feature and we have improved the VGA quality on
upcoming boards.  In order to verify and optimize the new VGA layout
we built a protoboard for the XGI headers, so it is possible to do
this cleanly.  We are not intending on releasing this board for sale,
but if there was interest in it we might (if you want to see this send
me an email).

Ed


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Indeed these boards are a great value and far cheaper than what it
would cost me to build something similar, which is not common for
development kits. Thank you for your explanation. I hadn't notice the
15 bit per pixel llimitation of the ML403.

I am still deciding if it is worth doing the extra VGA board - an
alternative is to reduce the vertical refresh to 56 Hz or something
like that.

-- Jecel


Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?

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I have not tried pushing the VGA clock, but I'd be surprised if the DAC
could not run much faster. The ADV7125 comes in speed grades:

50 MHz, 140 MHz, 240 MHz and 330 MHz.

I would image the 50 MHz part would run comfortably at 150 MHz.




Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?
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Jecel, could you give me some advice on this ?  Same application; maybe
using TI THS8133.

I feel I'm going to do the same mistake again :-)

Splitting grounds didn't always give me the best results. But I'm not so
expert in high speed layout.





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This was a long time ago using the original ARM chipset. The video was
only 24MHz, so it was hardly high speed by today's standards. Though I
knew that the analog part should have separate power and ground I was
busy with other things and didn't correct the layout guy when he failed
to do this. The running programs generate a very visible pattern on the
display and even in the speaker. At least this made debugging a little
easier ;-)

If you use all 10 bits available in the THS8133 instead of just 8
(24bpp) then I imagine it is even more important to get rid of the
noise or else you might as well use the cheaper THS8134B instead.

-- Jecel


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Hi Ed,

your comment about 405 "to be released early next year" (2006) sounds like
firm indication that Xilinx has serious problems with 4FX? The ML405 was
announced no later than jan 2005 (maybe earlier), now you are saying that it
is coming sometime in 2006 ? Why announce products that are 'maybe' coming
more than a year later? I would have expect ML405 to be available by now.
Well if there is really an issue with 4FX that would explain why no FX
boards are available from Xilinx online shop. Just wondering.

Antti



Re: Xilinx dev board with high quality video?
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Right now almost all of the FX20 silicon is being shipped to customers
on a priority basis.  We do have fully functional ML405 and ML410 boards
in house that we are now making available to our processor specialist
FAEs and available on a limited loaner basis to customers and this will
increase over coming months.

It takes 3-4 months from this point before we can complete all of the
rest of the material in order to turn it from early access board that
requires a knowledgeable and trained person to use it into a general
availability product with full manufacturing tests, documentation,
reference designs and packaging.  Also, our internal processes has
certain requirements that must be met before we place boards in the Xilinx
Online Store, this should happen 1-2 months after the boards are
available from our distributors.

We haven't formally announced the ML405 and ML410, but we have shown
them at trade shows and forums such as this as an upcoming development
vehicle for Virtex-4. We do this so that our customers and partners can
understand what our plans our for support collateral so that they can
develop their own product development and test roadmaps.

Ed

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