IQ-Video - FPGA Based Video Mixing Solution PDF Print E-mail

IQ-Video is an advanced FPGA solution for high definition video interfacing, mixing, and display based on Mikroprojekt's Video IP and the Lattice ECP3 FPGA.

Key Feature List

  • FPGA-based video processing solution
  • Supports 1080p video at 60 fps
  • Advanced video combining capabilities
  • Mixing of video streams and static graphics
  • Alpha blending and transparency effects
  • Smooth transitional effects
  • Fading, scrolling, scaling, cropping and movement
  • Low processing latency
  • Arbitrary resolution and frame rate of inputs
  • Embedded DDR2/DDR3 frame buffer memory controller
  • Embedded LatticeMico32 CPU supports automatic initialization, smooth animations, and embedded graphics

Applications and target markets

  • Digital Signage (Video Walls, Visual installations)
  • Gaming and infotainment systems
  • 3D Display systems
  • Stereo projection systems
  • Autostereoscopic displays
  • DVRs
  • Real-Time Video Processors
  • Machine Vision
  • Video scalers/Frame rate converters

Feature highlights

The IQ-Video solution allows easy interfacing, adaptation and mixing of multiple video sources of various origins.  The solution is capable of performing video mixing with advanced effects, such as blending, overlay, side by side, or picture in picture.

Transitions between various mixing combinations are easily animated with moving, scrolling, panning and scaling effects on live video streams. Video streams of various resolution, frame rate, color spaces and color depth can be combined into one or more output streams. The mixed video stream can be displayed on one or more standard or embedded monitors, or transmitted over a specific video interface such as DVI, HDMI, HD-SDI or others.


Video can be combined with static or dynamic graphics such as logos or banners. Graphical overlays can employ both overall and per-pixel alpha transparencies to implement anti-aliased OSD graphical elements.

IP Cores and Functionality

Video interfacing is handled within IQ-Vin video input IP cores. The IQ-Vin IP cores allow easy interfacing to various streaming video sources such as DVI/HDMI, Video decoders, SDI/HD-SDI, DisplayPort and many others. IQ-Vin IP cores grab consecutive video frames, supporting  frame skipping, dynamic video cropping, positioning and scaling through Mikroprojekt's IQ-ScalR video scaler IP core, which is seamlessly integrated inside the IQ-Vin.

IQ-ScalR is an advanced video scaler core which employs polyphase filtering to deliver high quality image scaling effects. Each video frame can be upscaled or downscaled to a different scaling ratio, allowing for advanced, smooth scaling effects and animations.

Mikroprojekt's IQ-DispML display controller IP core provides support for mixing of multiple video sources, supporting alpha blending and compositing, windowing, positioning and smooth scrolling frame-by-frame. Combined with scaling effects available through IQ-ScalR IP core, the IQ-Video video mixing solution provides a large palette of video mixing and transitional effects.

Basic IQ-Video configuration (Click to enlarge)

The Peregrine system architecture delivers unprecedented performance of video processing by minimizing data transfer overheads and allows transfer rates up to 95% of memory's theoretical maximum. This performance allows the IQ-Video to handle high definition video streams, up to 1080p60. The Peregrine system architecture is complemented by the highly efficient IQ-Mem memory controller, which delivers high data rates with DDR2 and DDR3 memories on Lattice ECP3 FPGAs through multiple memory ports.

The embedded Lattice Mico32 microprocessor maintains precise control of the video mixing timing, delivering smooth transitions and effects without jitter. Additionally, it can communicate over non-video links and render graphics, allowing data such as informations and stock tickers to be visualized and blended into the video streams. This can be additionally facilitated by employing the IQ-GraphBlit graphics accelerator.

Effects can be directed either directly by Mico32 software,  or by an external interface such as IQ-Link.


IQ-Video Demo

Reference Design

The IQ-Video solution Reference Design is based on a SoC implemented within the Lattice ECP3 FPGA, running on Mikroprojekt's Sparrowhawk FX Development system. The design is employing the on-chip SERDES channels to interface with DVI/HDMI video interfaces. The DVI/HDMI streams are handled through the HDMI receiver and transmitter IP cores provided by Lattice Semiconductor. The system integrates Mikroprojekt’s IQ-DispML, IQ-VIN and IQ-ScalR IP cores, communicating over the Peregrine video-specialized system interconnect. DDR3 memory is handled with Mikroprojekt's IQ-MEM memory controller. LatticeMico32 Soft CPU controls the system operation.

(Click to enlarge)

Implementation and Demo Platform

The design is implemented and can be evaluated on Mikroprojekt's Sparrowhawk FX Video Development board. The implementation allows mixing of 1080p60 video streams input over DVI/HDMI interfaces. Initialization of the board on power up is automatic, handled by the Mico32 CPU. Communication with the board and the IQ-Video design is implemented through the IQ-LinkUSB interface.

An alternate implementation is available for the Lattice Video Interfaces Development Kit, integrating a Lattice ECP3-95 FPGA.

FPGA familyRegistersLUT4sEBRsMultipliersMax. frequency3IO Pins
ECP3 (ECP3-150)1 51234 36240 111 152 400 MHz 225
ECP3 (ECP3-95)2 21864 27985 87 90 200 MHz 120

1Sparrowhawk FX reference design with dual-channel DDR3, dual DVI/HDMI inputs and outputs, with peripherals
2Dual HDMI input, Single HDMI output, video mixing configuration only, single channel DDR2 controller, Lattice ECP3 video protocol board
3Maximum frequency of the memory interface


  • Lattice ECP3 FPGA design
  • Multi-port DDR2/3 SDRAM memory controller
  • Mikroprojekt’s video solution
    • IQ-DispML
      • Control of TFT screens and video interfaces
      • Variable resolution
      • Variable timing parameters
      • Support for 8, 16 and 24-bit color
      • Variable memory organization
      • Double buffering to reduce flicker
      • Alpha blending of multiple image layers
      • Synchronized, smooth scrolling and positioning
    • IQ-VIN
      • Input of RGB video data
      • Scaling (via IQ-ScalR), Positioning and Cropping
      • 16-bit and 24-bit color depth support
      • Realtime colordepth conversion with spatial dithering
      • Support for resolutions up to 1920x1080@60Hz
    • IQ-ScalR
      • Advanced video scaler
      • Based on polyphase filtering
      • High quality scaling
      • Configurable number of taps and phases
      • Independent horizontal and vertical scaling factors
      • Frame-by-frame scaling with independent factors (smooth, graceful scaling animations)
      • Supports up to 1920x1080@60Hz
  • Peregrine system architecture
  • Mico32 CPU integrated
  • Software examples
  • IQ-Link Debug interface

More information

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Datasheet Version:Apr12
Date 2012-11-19 Filesize 494.55 KB Download 1017

IQ-Video Demo Setup - UM0014 - v1.1 Version:1.1
Date 2012-11-19 Filesize 3.43 MB Download 945
Sparrowhawk FX and IQ-Video quick start guide Version:1.0
Date 2012-11-19 Filesize 486.09 KB Download 725