Graphics Overlay Board
PCB is 96x96 mm. Common interfaces are: 9 pin Dtype connector for serial connection, 10 pin header male for power and 10 pin header male for JTAG. Upper right section contains 2 RF connectors for video in and out. Other ports are also available for FPGA development.
There are new photos of the product to be uploaded soon.
The graphics overlay board has the following features:
40 MHz NIOS FPGA based CPU.
32 MB of SDRAM
1 MB of Flash
Size: 96 x 96 mm. Double sided PCB. Multi layered board with power planes available at request. Normally for reduced EMI but a higher cost and longer lead times
Monochrome PAL input and output (not yet tested for colour)
Video mixer either passing video through or mixing 3 DAC voltages
Serial DAC to provide 3 pixel colours from black to bright white
Sync stripper as input to FPGA
FPGA contains a multi-master architecture to allow simultaneous access to video memory
512 pixels per scan line.
Diagnostic/programming interface via RS232
Pixel control via horizontal or vertical lines as well as individual pixels
Simple font generator. Fonts under software control. Can print any colour on any colour.
Easy fill and clear commands
Hardware commands for number of pixels per line and active area
Additional features (currently unused):
LVDS port with Rx and Tx matching.
Up to 30 general purpose 3.3V I/O lines
1.5V, 3,3V, 5V and -5V. 1.5V at about 100mA supplies the FPGA, 3.3V (50mA) supplies the I/O and memory and the + & - 5V supplies the video section.
The current release contains software to display a grat (see pictures above), allows you to adjust the colour intensity, do boresight (for a military application) and load defaults. The software reads 4 switches on one of the spare ports. Any derivative should be very easy to implement for a client.
This is a highly customizable design that can be delivered in various formats:
Board and video IP license. The user will have to obtain the Quartus II 5.1 (minimum) and NIOSII 5.1 development IP from Altera as well as a ByteBlasterMV programming cable. The user will then be able to recompile the FPGA as well as the software. This is a costly route as the IP license will sell for roughly $10 000 USD and the user will have to obtain the extra tools.
Board, GNU compiler and source. The user will be able to recompile the source code and download/program the board using a GNU compiler and serial cable. This solution will sell for $3 000 USD, including a board, source code, programming serial cable and the free GNU compiler and environment on CD.
Board plus client specifications. The client specifies the functionality and we code accordingly. In the end we deliver 1x board with loaded software. The client will also receive the executable and instructions on how to configure the boards. Cost will be board cost (at that time) as well as engineering hours at about $50 USD for the implementation (usually a fixed quote).
*Board with serial interface. This is the cheapest option as it is basically just the card, Windows demonstration program, protocol and cable . The software on the card will receive commands over the RS232 link. These will include clear, fill, pixel, line, text and read/write (for ports). This will however require an external computer or micro controller. Updates will obviously be slower but will allow the user to exercise full control over the unit. Cost will be about $1100 USD for the kit.
Complete video display unit. This unit contains the board, video CRT, controls, single 24V power input and environmentally packaged. Depending on application the unit can be sent for environmental tests and certified to required levels. Those who have done this will know that this can be very costly and will be specifically quoted for. Also note that for high reliability boards the components chosen are of industrial rather than commercial grade, again increasing the price.
* Recommended for first time users.
The boards will only be available from Zerksus, i.e. no designs, Gerber files etc. will be made available for mass production.
The price will start at roughly $950 USD but should drop to about $800 USD for quantities of 20 or more. Usually prices drop steeply at 100 or more.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more information.