High-Speed OpenGear Cards for Multi-Camera Broadcasting System
Project in Nutshell: we created a high-speed OpenGear cards for multi-cameras system for capturing detailed real-time footage. This solution is controlled through a web panel and comprises two modules: an OpenGear-compatible board and a network-attached storage (NAS) equipped with multiple SSD drives. The system enables ultra-fast streaming and storing of videos captured by professional cameras in challenging environments.
Client & Challenge
A European streaming operator turned to us to make high-speed OpenGear cards for a system of multiple cameras, broadcasting video from sports, music and other media events in real-time and storing the footage for subsequent analysis.
The client needed to capture all instant details of the event on video and monitor it for at least 10 minutes, requiring high-bandwidth capacities for broadcasting and storage.
To meet the customer's requirements, existing system has the following features:
- processing of 8 SDI 4K120 frame streams per second,
- simultaneous streaming in pocket format over an Ethernet network,
- buffering to the network-attached storage (NAS)
- remote access to cameras for switching views and controlling the broadcast process,
- all operations must be performed smoothly and without data loss.
Fig. 1. SMPTE 2110 SDI -to-IP Tx/Rx transceiver functional diagram
As a result, the solution comprises two modules:
1. Special OpenGear cards were created using Xilinx FPGA and IP cores to convert SDI signals to IP, following the SMPTE 2110 standard. Using this standard in live production is handy when multiple signals must be transported simultaneously, as we did in our project. SMPTE 2110 also ensures low-latency transport for both video and audio.
2. A 10Gb/sec network-attached storage (NAS) relies on multiple SSD drives connected through a SAS expander built on the Lattice CertusPro-NX FPGA. This NAS ensures high bandwidth, crucial for managing significant data from high-speed cameras capturing detailed real-time video.
The Lattice CertusPro-NX boasts 8 SERDES lanes supporting up to 10.3 Gbps per lane in compact 9x9 mm packages. This capability suits low-latency, high-bandwidth SAS 3.0-compliant storage and network applications.
“While working on this project, we designed a high-speed camera for harsh environments that can be used to record even a SpaceX launch. This system is tasked with capturing all the intricate details of the rocket engine combustion and tracking the flight for the first few minutes”.
— Andrei Smirnov, head of the Adaptive Computer Systems Unit
Fig. 2. Functional diagram of a SAS expander used for the project (Ethernet part not shown)
Both cards are made ОpenGear-compliant, hot-swappable and can be installed into the OpenGear-compliant frame. The user interaction is set through a web dashboard – a user-friendly portal to manage and monitor the entire system.
The solution can be used for ultrafast broadcasting and storage of the video captured by professional cameras installed in a harsh environment. The hardware has a compact form-factor and can be controlled by external operator via the Internet.