The industry shift from basic video processing to more complex and integrated processing solutions, along with next generation-video compression standards, are driving system requirements for video performance that exceed what stand-alone digital signal processors (DSPs) can deliver. Field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), such as the Spartan-3A DSP, fill this gap for cost-sensitive military, automotive, medical, consumer, industrial, and security applications by providing over 20 GMACs of DSP performance for less than 30 dollars. FPGAs uniquely provide logic, embedded processing, OS support, and drivers to offer a complete end-to-end solution for video.

This paper introduces the XtremeDSP Video Starter Kit, which provides developers with a complete and easy-to-use design environment at low cost. XtremeDSP provides example applications and full support for the standard Xilinx tool flows, which help to accelerate this design process, yet still allow for end product differentiation.