Complex Video Systems Take Flight with Altium Designer
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Complex Video Systems Take Flight with Altium Designer

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Digital Design Corporation (DDC) Case Study: The sheer number-crunching requirements of video image recording, processing and analysis make any system design very challenging. Now add in the physical ...

Digital Design Corporation (DDC) Case Study: The sheer number-crunching requirements of video image recording, processing and analysis make any system design very challenging. Now add in the physical and electrical requirements, such as noisy power supplies and the extreme temperatures and environments of military and rugged industrial applications. Complicate the design further with cramped size requirements, vibration, and high G-forces and you get a sense of what the designers at Digital Design Corporation (DDC) face on a daily basis.

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Complex Video Systems Take Flight with Altium Designer Complex Video Systems Take Flight with Altium Designer Document Transcript

  • Altium enabling next-generation electronics design Digital Design Corporation Complex Video Systems Take Flight With Altium Designer Integration and Automation The sheer number-crunching requirements of video Integration and automation image recording, processing and analysis make any work for DDC system design very challenging. Now add in the physical and electrical requirements, such as noisy Mike Cortopassi, Principal Staff Engineer, explains: “At power supplies and the extreme temperatures and DDC, the hardware engineer builds the schematics environments of military and rugged industrial and the board layout. I’ve done the design; I know applications. Complicate the design further with the architecture, so I know how the routing needs to cramped size requirements, vibration, and high G-forces perform. Altium Designer is perfect for the way we and you get a sense of what the designers at Digital work.” Design Corporation (DDC) face on a daily basis. Altium Designer’s built-in component libraries make it Meeting all these constraints requires close much easier for Mike to create schematics, with even collaboration among many design disciplines including the large Altera and Xilinx FPGAs that DDC depends system, schematic, board, mechanical, chip, firmware on. Mike explains: “Trying to build a library model of and software. This is especially so with modern high a part with 1,800 pins and not make a mistake is a speed digital designs, where the high frequencies on tremendous effort.” a board require a broad experience base and high powered tools. The design process may require many Automation of data-intensive steps accelerated Mike’s iterations to settle upon an optimum system. That’s why design and helped lock out errors. That freed Mike to DDC gives its hardware designers an integrated design concentrate on tweaking critical paths. “Automated environment based on Altium Designer. Relying on its pin-swapping during routing was a big plus to ensure comprehensive libraries, smart automation, and cross- critical routes,” he says. “I can quickly make changes to discipline integration, DDC can quickly balance all the the FPGA pinout and push the netlist back to the FPGA design tradeoffs within its most demanding products. designer as often as I need to.” One hardware engineer tackles a The integration of schematics and board designAt DDC, the hardware 22-layer board worked well in the other direction too. “If I needed aengineer builds the new power supply rail, I just put another part on the schematic, push it into the PCB design, and completedschematics and the The DDC Video and Advanced Data Recorder (VAADR) the route.” Being able to switch between schematicboard layout. I’ve done provides real-time recording and playback of high- and board design was important for an efficient, error- resolution imagery in ruggedized applications. Thethe design; I know the system captures and generates multi-gigabit I/O streams free design cycle—especially since it could happenarchitecture, so I know multiple times in an hour. of high-frame-rate 16-bit video. Initially designed forhow the routing needs military avionics applications, most of the functionality Preventing errors andto perform. Altium resides on one controller board that interfaces with improving processes removable storage modules.Designer is perfect for DDC leveraged its deep experience with the latest, Upon design completion, Altium Designer automaticallythe way we work. densest FPGAs to implement the controller board’s generated the manufacturing output files. The first processing and storage capabilities in a compact revision came back and DDC hooked up the powerMike Cortopassi package. While the FPGAs make it easier to fine-tune supplies. Within an hour, the board was operationalPrincipal Staff Engineer system hardware and software, their large sizes (well and the FPGA designer was beginning evaluation of over 1,000 pins) introduce a huge board design and the FPGA. Mike gives the integration and automation layout challenge. In addition, the military and industrial in Altium Designer credit. “Altium Designer gives me applications that the system works within are notorious every opportunity to catch the errors before they can be for poorly regulated power sources. The system’s released.” functional, thermal, and electrical constraints drove As the VAADR was tested, revised and put through DDC to create a 22-layer board, produced by a single environmental testing, DDC made numerous revisions hardware engineer working on Altium Designer.For more information visit www.altium.com
  • Altium enabling next-generation electronics design and improvements in the board. “Design spins were image analysis and processing during playback. done very quickly, and automatic output files simplified the small design changes.” The initial customer was Company very pleased with the system, and the resulting board is now part of DDC’s standard product portfolio. Digital Design Corporation (DDC) is an engineering Today, DDC is launching the design of a new, even consulting company with high-end design services and more powerful version of the VAADR – using Altium products. It architects, designs, and implements ICs Designer. (FPGAs, ASICs, etc), associated circuits and software, and the systems that encompass them. The company Product specializes in video (interfacing, enhancement, and recording), image processing, communications, DSP The DDC Video and Advanced Data Recorder (VAADR) and audio in wide variety of military, automotive, is a high-end video and data recorder for highly medical and other industrial markets. The company has demanding applications in military, airborne, vehicular, over 400 years of cumulative digital design experience, research and other applications. It provides real-time working the entire process from concept to foundry, recording of multiple channels of high-frame rate, including everything from initial architecture through 16-bit high-resolution imagery. It stores RAW or complete design and verification, including the ability compressed imagery along with metadata such as to provide prototype and/or production builds and timestamps and GPS and other metadata. Its multiple support. channels of record and playback support advanced Altium’s solutions implemented in the Digital Video and Audio Processing industry About Altium Altium Limited (ASX:ALU) provides world-leading unified design solutions that break down the barriers to innovation, and help organisations easily harness the latest devices and technologies, to create their next generation of electronic products. Altium’s solutions are unique because they unify the separate processes of electronics design, all within a single electronics design environment, working off a single data model, which links all the aspects of electronics product design into one process. Founded in 1985, Altium has headquarters in Sydney, Australia, sales offices in the United States, Europe, Japan, China, and resellers in all other major markets. For more information, please visit www.altium.com Copyright © 2008 Altium Limited. All Rights Reserved. Altium, Altium Designer, Board Insight, DXP, Innovation Station, LiveDesign, NanoBoard, NanoTalk, OpenBus, P-CAD, SimCode, Situs, TASKING, and Topological Autorouting and their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Altium Limited or its subsidiaries. All other registered or unregistered trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners and no trademark rights to the same are claimed. 4381