9/20/2004 - Aspex SemiconductorTM, a UK-based fabless semiconductor company developing leading-edge “Extreme Processors”, announced the launch of the Accelera 3000TM plug in hardware acceleration platform, targeted at video effects developers who want to substantially accelerate PC-based image processing tasks.
This new generation of Accelera is a full length PCI-X card which features four LinedancerTM – extreme processor devices. Each Linedancer device contains 4096 processing elements. With over 16,000 processing elements working in parallel, even the largest digital images will be processed significantly faster than on a standard PC platform. Core processing algorithms will typically run 20-40x faster than a high end dual processor PC platform, allowing real-time or faster than real-time performance for complex image processing tasks in applications such as non-linear editing, video effects acceleration and machine vision. The high bandwidth PCI-X interface allows transfer of 16-bit high-definition 1080i / 720p RGB images to and from the Accelera platform in real-time.
Jeremy Hendy, VP Marketing at Aspex Semiconductor explains “imagine having a render farm on every desktop, that’s the kind of massive real-time performance uplift we are looking at with Accelera, which we believe adds real value to video effects software products. As the post-production world moves to High Definition and Digital Cinema, our customers are seeing their image processing requirements increasing by up to 100x. With that kind of performance hit, you’ll have to wait a long time for Moore’s law to catch up.”
Unlike traditional “render-farm” approaches, the Accelera solution is affordable enough to have one per desktop, removing the need for resource sharing and multi-user queue management. And because all the image data is stored locally, there are none of the data transfer delays associated with networked server farms. More importantly, Accelera allows software vendors to offer a much higher-value product to their customers.
This resolution independent, fully software programmable solution is programmed in C, and is supported by a comprehensive development tool chain, libraries, and a new high-level API.
“Thanks to the software programmability of Linedancer, customers starting their development today with the Accelera platform will be able to launch new products by next year’s NAB show” added Hendy. “That kind of development timescale just isn’t possible with a traditional FPGA-based approach. And the software programmability means that Accelera can be used at many different places in the workflow.”
Aspex customer, Imagineer Systems has successfully accelerated their monet element replacement software using Accelera.
Future developments are likely to see Accelera available in different configurations. Customers will be able to choose from board configurations with one, two or four Linedancer devices per card, different program and data memory sizes, and have the ability to connect multiple cards together for massive performance. Thanks to the unique scalability of Aspex’s Linedancer solution, vendors have a future-proof software roadmap that can take advantage of future performance increases, without any recompilation.
About Aspex Semiconductor Ltd.
Aspex Semiconductor is a leading edge fabless semiconductor company specialising in the delivery of high performance programmable processors. Aspex enable customers to reduce component costs, shorten time to market and reduce risk by moving to software defined applications. In addition, the company offers services to speed adoption of Aspex products. Aspex Semiconductor has demonstrated its architecture in the market place and by optimising the unique benefits of the Aspex processor family, customers are able to keep pace with the most demanding market conditions. Headquartered in Buckinghamshire, UK, Aspex serves clients and partners worldwide. For further information visit the Aspex Semiconductor website on www.aspex-semi.com
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