Embedded Software and Hardware Development for a Broadcasting Network

Client background

MediorNet (now part of Riedel Communications GmbH & Co. KG ) is a real-time network for video, audio, and communications. Its products are used for broadcast, pro-audio, event, sports, and security applications.

Business challenge

The client was in need of both hardware and software development services to implement real-time broadcasting and communication network. The company was looking for an IT vendor with embedded development expertise and experience in delivering high-tech projects.

Transformation

The engineers enhanced the initial product architecture, thoroughly tested the solution and adjusted the boards to ensure the device meets the required standards and is accepted by the broadcasting corporations.

Value delivered by N-iX

  • high-tech solution for real-time media data transmission at high speed;
  • multiplexing multiple media signals into one high-speed digital stream, flexible signal conversion, and routing;
  • compliance with rigid standards and specifications to pass equipment certification testing (EMC, SNR, etc.).

Location
Austria
Partnership period
January 2005 - January 2012
Team size
8
Team location
Ukraine, Lviv
Expertise delivered
Embedded Software
Technologies
C/C++ IIS 7.0, Xilinx VHDL, Java SWING GUI Interface

PRODUCT OVERVIEW

Client’s Goals

Mediornet addressed N-iX with the need to develop both hardware and software components for their real-time broadcasting and communication network. They were looking for top-notch engineers with solid embedded development experience and relevant expertise so they dedicated special attention to choosing a reliable partner.

The client’s requirements included:

  • Develop a multi-media signal routing solution;
  • Develop a desktop application for controlling the system;
  • Adhere to rigid specifications;
  • Ensure the highest quality of performance;
  • Stick to tight deadlines.
Challenges
  • Enhancing product architecture;
  • Providing high quality (SNR > 110 dbm) analog signal on the high speed digital board (a lot of crosstalk simulations because of long production time);
  • Dealing with Xilinx gigabit transceivers (timing, layout, debugging);
  • Correcting board thermal design (solder high pin count and thermally sensitive FPGA);
  • Meeting factory constraints for board design (AT&S, over 400 pages);
  • Complying with rigid standards and specifications to pass equipment certification testing (EMC, SNR etc.);
  • Combining onsite and offsite work to achieve the best results in a limited timeframe.
Implementation

The cooperation between N-iX embedded development team and MediorNet started with the analysis of the initial architecture of the solution. Our engineers gave valuable input about the possible improvements in the design and thus earned the trust of the client.

Due to the high complexity of the technology and the need for both hardware and software development, our major task was to quickly gather a strong team of engineers with solid experience. N-iX managed to find qualified specialists who could handle the most complex engineering problems. The team contributed to the product design, developed the layout of the boards and the circuits, completed all the engineering tasks set by the client.

The programmers performed rigorous testing and adjusted the boards to ensure the product meets the required standards and the device is accepted by the broadcasting corporations. Board manufacturing and assembling was done at AT&S factory in Austria. After a few rounds of debugging the boards successfully passed all tests and met all other requirements. Shortly after we finished the project, this equipment was installed on ORF1 (Austrian national broadcasting) and a little later, MediorNet was acquired by RIEDEL Communications. RIEDEL did slight refactoring of the solution and put it in mass production. Although this solution is more than 10 years old, it is still on the market and doing well. It has beed used to broadcast Sochi (2014) and Rio (2016) Olympics recently.

Value Delivered by N-iX

N-iX embedded development team was able to meet all the client’s requirements and successfully complete all the tasks. The engineers ensured the highest quality of the technology, swiftly delivered the first prototype, and performed thorough testing of the product. The solution comprises wide functionality including:

  • real-time media data transmission at high speed (up to 32 Gbps);
  • high-end Xilinx FPGA with RocketIO Aurora transceivers + advanced Analog Devices DAC/ADC converters;
  • multiplexing multiple media signals into one high speed digital stream that is then relayed to optic fiber;
  • flexible signal conversion and routing (including point-to-multipoint);
  • product passed certification for use at ORF1 Austrian national broadcasting.

X-Switch, the multi-media signal routing solution developed by the team resolved the following issues:

  • removed copper cables length limitation for high speed digital signals;
  • saved costs of installations (many copper cables to one optical);
  • allowed on-the-fly signal conversion;
  • allowed signal distribution from one source to many destinations;

As a result, the team provided full cycle high-tech software and hardware development and proved to be a reliable partner for high-tech projects. The technology, which is one of the fastest media switches, has been used by media companies for broadcasting Olympics, football matches, concerts etc.

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