HDR TV codec firm ports C to OpenCL on Altera FPGA

Altera has announced that one of its early customers in the OpenCL for FPGAs programme, goHDR has ported its proprietary C-code to the OpenCL standard and implemented the code in an FPGA “in less than a week, a process that typically requires 3-6 months using a traditional HDL flow,” said Altera.

OpenCL was used as a common language in the development of a high dynamic range (HDR)-enabled television system, implementing goHDR’s proprietary video codec algorithm into the FPGA

This enables existing televisions to display HDR video content at real time rates – at least 25 frames per second. 

“HDR video has very large data and computational requirements, creating significant challenges for video processing on such platforms as televisions or set-top boxes. FPGAs offer a very compelling alternative to traditional multicore CPUs and GPUs, but we were not experienced VHDL programmers,” said Alan Chalmers, innovation director at goHDR, a spin-out from the University of Warwick.

“We were able to get our system up and running in less than a week and meet our project’s performance requirements with a limited amount of development time,” said Chalmers.

The encoding/decoding software developed by goHDR enables the adoption of HDR video across many sectors, including film and television, computer games, security and mobile devices.

OpenCL for FPGAs combines the OpenCL parallel programming language with the parallel performance capabilities of FPGAs to deliver significantly higher performance compared to multi-core CPUs and CPU/GPU-based systems and shorter development times.

According to Alex Grbic, director of marketing for software, DSP and IP at Altera: “OpenCL for FPGAs delivers a significant productivity advantage to designers who have traditionally modelled their algorithms in C and converted them to HDL.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *