The PLC2 Grabber Card PGC-1000 is a high-performance PCIe card with up to 40 Gb Ethernet via a QSFP+ connector. It is ideally suited to enable high-end multi camera video data logging and replaying on mid range PCs, to avoid the need for costly very high-end multiprocessor computers. The board offers up to 24 GB of DDR4 memory which can be used for frame buffering. PGC-1000 significantly relieves CPU processing by (un-)packing image data frames on programmable hardware and passing it on by PCIe. On the fly lossless (de-) compression of image data with the L5 (De-)Compression IP from PLC2 is available for integration.
With the PGC-1000 PLC2 Design announces the first member of the product family of FPGA-based PCIe cards with multi-10 Gbps Ethernet interfaces to address the increasing demands for offloading PC-software into programmable hardware. Typical use cases are modern validation applications in the automotive domain. Such applications (as e.g. for ADAS development) have pushed the bandwidth requirements for data acquisition, logging and storage by a factor of 5-20 over the last few years. The camera arrays provide their data through high-speed interfaces such as multi-10 Gbps Ethernet or high speed interfaces that are converted to Ethernet by measurement adapters. The data contents are driving situation scenarios and are of significant value to automotive engineers that develop control units and systems. A typical high speed data capturing system employs cameras, lower speed sensors, automotive control units, measurement adapters, a measurement and storage computer with high performance network interface cards and drivers and analysis software.
PGC-1000 and the associated software and programmable hardware environment is a reconfigurable high performance network interface card, which provides a multitude of offloading capabilities to streamline such validation systems with respect to power consumption and cost. Automotive engineers typically apply a multitude of AI / ML algorithms. Data integrity of the captured content is extremely important so that lossy compression is not an option. Lossless compression is therefore a valuable task that can be simply offloaded into PGC-1000. The card is compatible with PCIe Gen 3.0 and comes with drivers for Windows and Linux operating systems. Data can also be replayed over PGC-1000 from storage computers to provide hardware in the loop environments to automotive control units under test, with the option to decompress the data on PGC-1000. Further use cases are frame grabbing, low latency networking for financial transactions, encryption and decryption, and several more.
Embedded in the Kithara real-time operating system, the PGC-1000 is able to almost completely offload the CPU for image acquisition processes within vision applications. Real-time synchronization of multiple cameras via the PTP function by Kithara is also possible.
The fields of application lie primarily in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), where numerous technologies within the real-time environment all need to mesh together. Utilization of the card fits seamlessly into the functional spectrum of Kithara RealTime Suite for image capturing and processing. The acceleration card is especially suited for implementation into existing data logging systems, also allowing for more stable real-time performance.