Xilinx powers Sony professional A/V products

The Sony Pro XVS-G1 video switcher, which uses Xilinx's Virtex UltraScale+ FPGA with High Bandwidth Memory, is used for live broadcast productions, such as sporting events.

Xilinx announced that it is working with Sony, contributing its FPGAs and adaptive system-on-chip (SoC) devices to power multiple Sony products used in professional audio-video (A/V) applications.

The news marks the first public announcement involving the two companies, though Xilinx devices have been in other Sony products previously as part of an ongoing relationship, according to Ramesh Iyer, senior director, Pro A/V, Broadcast and Consumer business at Xilinx, who commented to Fierce Electronics via email

The Sony Pro A/V products using Xilinx’s technology include the new XVS-G1 4K Live Production Switcher for live broadcast events. The video switcher employs the Xilinx Virtex UltraScale+ FPGA with High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), helping to support existing capabilities along with enhanced visual processing of live events, with a maximum capacity of 24 4K UHD channels. The switcher’s embedded Xilinx HBM controller and high-performance transceivers enable high-speed processing at high resolution 4K with wide color gamut, and high dynamic range at ultra-low latencies. 

This will be the first broadcast video switcher to be deployed for live sports and live events using Xilinx’s HBM technology, although the company has served the professional A/V market with its semiconductors for more than two decades, most recently announcing new video products and an expansion of its video and imaging portfolio at the Xilinx Adapt 2021 event earlier this month. Xilinx FPGAs also were used to enable vision applications for the Mars Perseverance Rover.

“Xilinx has been an active and major provider of technology for the broadcast industry for 20 years,” Iyer said. “Live TV requires FPGA-based processing; live TV cannot rely on software-based media processing since end-to-end latency is so critical."

He added, “Xilinx is also a major player in the professional A/V space, which uses most of the same technology as the broadcast industry. Pro AV also has a very large market potential that consists of streaming end-points, keyboard-video-mouse technologies, LED walls/signage, projectors, routers/switchers, pro audio and collaboration. Both broadcast and pro A/V represent a total addressable market potential of more than $1 billion annually, and rely very heavily on Xilinx technology to enable remote workflows which is so important in the age of social distancing, distance learning, collaboration and infrastructure upgrades, and to ensure that the creative talent in the film, music and TV industry continue to produce more content.”

“Xilinx technology has helped us improve the real-time processing and routing of video and audio in our new XVS-G1 switcher,” said Mr. Koichi Yamanaka, Senior General Manager, Media Solution Business Division, Sony Corporation. “We use Xilinx devices because their architecture gives us flexibility, allowing us to customize and update capabilities to align with the rapidly-changing market needs as well as the specific product needs of our customers.”

In addition to the new switcher, Xilinx devices are being used in a wide range of Sony’s professional solutions, including:

  • VENICE full-frame digital cinema camera
  • FX9 full-frame 6K sensor camera
  • BVM-HX310 31-inch 4K TRIMASTER HX™ Professional Master Monitor
  • HDC-5500 three 2/3-inch 4K CMOS sensor portable system camera and the HDCU-5500 Camera Control Unit

 RELATED: Xilinx offers Versal HBM series to loosen up memory bottlenecks