Driving Smart and Connected Enterprise Systems Creates Powerful 4K Video Experiences

Today’s office workspaces are all about being connected. As people move from conference rooms to smaller collaboration and “huddle” spaces to cubicles, they expect a seamless experience, with fast access to what they need from wherever they are.

To support this change in work environments, business audio visual systems are becoming truly unified, connecting a wide range of diverse electronics, from PCs, to video conferencing systems and projectors, to employee “bring your own” personal electronics. At the same time, connectivity standards are evolving to support 4K, high dynamic range (HDR) and 8K video, improving image quality within these environments. These trends challenge solution innovators to make their systems smarter, providing seamless connectivity between a wide range of electronics at an affordable cost point.

As people move from workplace conference rooms to smaller collaboration spaces to cubicles, they expect fast access to what they need from wherever they are.
As people move from workplace conference rooms to smaller collaboration spaces to cubicles, they expect fast access to what they need from wherever they are.
At the center of this evolving technologies are FPGAs – with the flexibility and programmability that enables designers to re-architect enterprise networks to support collaboration for 4K, and ultimately even higher performance 8K networks.

Case in point: Crestron today announced that it will use Intel Arria® 10 FPGAs for its DigitalMedia NVX (DM-NVX) technology architecture, a new concept in digital media AV distribution that enables businesses to deploy more cost-adaptable AV networks and supports UHD 4K-quality conferencing and seamless connection to a wide range of AV devices. Creston is demonstrating this new product at the Integrated Systems Europe event this week in Amsterdam.

New 4K, HDR and 8K video standards – including those for Ethernet video transport and high-performance display processing – bring more challenges as equipment makers need to align with those standards to bring their devices to market. But, it’s a perfect challenge for us.

When programmable, customizable FPGAs are built into these systems, they enable fast time- to-market for devices that support these new connectivity standards and 4K/8K display processing. Plus, they offer the flexibility to adapt to evolving requirements such as those presented by the HDR ecosystem. In this solution – get ready, because this is a lot to make note of – the Intel Arria 10 FPGA is used to enable fast time-to-market HDMI 2.0a connectivity, 4K60 4:4:4 10-bit high-resolution video scaler, visually lossless encoding/decoding, and ultra-low-latency Ethernet.

Resource: Learn more about Arria 10 FPGAs

Further, FPGAs provide a more cost-effective approach that enables business to more economically scale support as their business environments evolve. By moving to off-the-shelf Ethernet switches, Creston’s customers can avoid having to invest in more costly, large AV network switches that create a “cliff edge” cost increase. So, for example, when an office environment evolves to add four new “huddle” spaces and the current equipment is at its limit, the network can adapt using cost-effective Ethernet switches as an incremental upgrade rather than having to jump directly to a high-cost custom AV switch matrix.

Preparing to scale beyond 4K is facilitated with the build-out of Ethernet infrastructure – the faster fiber-based connections in the data center and network. This new scalable transport medium is being adopted in markets such as mobile communications networks. Using Intel Arria 10 FPGAs, Crestron can leverage the scalability Ethernet provides to deliver full-quality 4K60 video at the affordable cost point of off-the-shelf 1-gigabit Ethernet switches, all by using compression and low-latency transport. This same move to Ethernet video transport is taking place in broadcast studios and medical operating theaters, expanding the market and pushing the limits on what is possible using real-time video.

Steve Samson, marketing director at Crestron, tells me that Intel Arria 10 FPGAs deliver low total cost of ownership (TCO) for an end customer’s AV network installation. This is an important value of FPGAs: high performance at relatively low power. He says customers can further reduce costs because FPGAs enable them to make in-field firmware upgrades when adding incremental features, without the need for a hardware upgrade, minimizing the need for on-site service contracts and visits. These kinds of maintainability costs are key factors in the cost of ownership for an enterprise.

The bottom line is that this technology blends into the background as users of the enterprise corporate network enjoy high viewing resolution, without visible freezing of video during resolution switching, all while delivering nearly unperceivable low latency.

You can learn more about this kind of AV deployment at Integrated Systems Europe this week in Amsterdam, by visiting Intel in booth #M254 in Hall 14, or Crestron in booth #C24, Hall 2.

If you’re looking for real-time collaboration technology, Intel® Unite™ will also share demonstrations in booth #B140, Hall 11.

Intel, the Intel logo, Arria 10, UNITE, are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors.

Performance tests, such as SYSmark and MobileMark, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products.   For more complete information visit www.intel.com/benchmarks.

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About Erhaan Shaikh

Erhaan Shaikh is vice president in the Programmable Solutions Group and general manager of the group’s business divisions at Intel Corporation. He is responsible for defining and carrying out innovative business strategies that promote growth for the group’s target market segments by delivering exceptional value to Intel customers. Shaikh joined Intel in 2015 with the acquisition of Altera Corp. Most recently at Altera, he was vice president and general manager of the infrastructure division, with responsibility for communications, computing and storage market segments. Earlier in his Altera career, Shaikh spent eight years managing Altera’s Asia Pacific business interests. Based in Hong Kong, he was responsible for design wins and sales growth throughout the region. He spent his first four years with Altera overseeing field technical support and service as vice president of worldwide field applications engineering. Before joining Altera in 2003, Shaikh was European managing director for Synplicity Inc. Based in the United Kingdom, he was responsible for European sales and support of programmable logic electronic design automation software. He also previously held sales management and technical support roles at Xilinx Inc. and Wyle Laboratories Inc. Shaikh earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of California, Davis, and a master’s degree in engineering management from Santa Clara University.