Congratulations to the Nexys Video

We are very proud to announce that our very own Nexys Video has recently been nominated for Embedded Computing Design’s Top Innovative Product of 2016! We are honored to be considered in such a contest.

According to Embedded Computing Design, the Nexys Video was targeted for high definition video acquisition, processing and display applications. In case you have not yet met the Nexys Video, please feel free to check out a brief introduction below!

This product is powerful enough to do everything from recording and managing high-quality audio to allowing for real-time facial tracking. It is in possession of several built-in peripherals, including Ethernet, USB-UART, and a high bandwidth USB data transfer protocol, which can expand the connectivity of the Nexys Video so that it can be cleanly integrated as a single component of a large system. And beyond the ability for direct human interaction via its switches, buttons, OLED display, and a connector for USB-HID devices, feel free to employ it to take advantage of our Summer Pmod Sale as its 3 x Pmod Headers allow for endless application possibilities.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 3.30.15 PM
Alex at the 2016 Design Automation Conference.

You can check out Tommy’s Audio Looper video below as an example of its ability to handle sound, as well as a photo of Alex’s demo to see its HD video processing capabilities.  Additionally it falls under our academic discount, so if you are a student or educator you can build that project without breaking the bank.

But a board like this one does not simply appear in our FPGA line just due to fervent wishing, regardless of how nice and utterly convenient that would be. No, in order to achieve the lofty goals of this product including its standard 24-bit audio codec along with the massive DDR memory it had to undergo a variety of challenges. Prior to its release last June it actually originally had a Spartan core. However it quickly became clear that the board would be more powerful with the Artix-7 chip. We rectified this issue, only to discover yet another hiccup… the lack of a hole in the board to allow for the OLED. After addressing this issue with only our pent-up frustration and a Dremel (totally kidding, we went through legitimate manufacturing means) we realized that for the final design we needed a heat sink to be added to prevent overheating. Fortunately this was a relatively easy fix, especially when compared to the alternatively proposed method of cooling that was hurling the board into an actual sink.  But as they say, getting there is half the fun.  And the Nexys Video would not be able to be the polished picture of A/V processing it is today without having encountered (and conquered!) a few bumps along the way!

The Nexys Video, looking all innocent and perfect.

See for yourself, and we will announce the board’s performance in the Embedded Computing Design’s contest after the winners are announced in the August issue! And check out our comprehensive reference page for resources on how to get started with this awesome product!

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About Miranda Hansen

I enjoy creative writing, engineering, thinking, building, exploring and sharing with people. Huge aficionado of spending time thinking about things that “don’t matter.” I am very interested in unconstrained creativity. I love cross-discipline ideas and all of their integration into complete original systems. And I like things that do things.

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