Video processor boards are used to process video, medical imaging, automated optical inspection, and other related activities. These boards can be fitted from one DSP unit to thousand in order to increase the computing power of the board. General specifications, performance specifications, memory and features are all important parameters to consider when searching for video processor boards.

General Specifications

Important general specifications to consider when searching for video processor boards include bust type, board height, data bus, and bus rate.  Common bus types include PCI, CompactPCI, VME, VXI or MXI, PMC, PC/104, and ISA or EISA.  Board height choices include 3U, 6U, and 9U.  3U is a card with a height of 100mm. 6U is a card with a height of 233mm. 9U is a card with a height of 360mm.  The data bus can be 32 bits or 64 bits.  The bus rate is the bus speed.  It is also the rate at which the Analyzer is collecting samples from the bus.  Choices are 33 MHz or 66 MHz. 

Performance Specifications

Important performance specifications to consider when searching for video processor boards include DSP type, clock speed, cycle time, MIPS, MFLOPS, and number of processors.  Choices for DSP type include MC8051, MC68HC11, MX680xx family, PowerPC, ADSP-2106x SHARC, Texas Instruments 320Cxxx family, and Z80 family. Clock speed is the speed of the DSP clock given in MHz or GHz. Cycle time is the time it takes for the DSP to read and / or write to the memory.  MIPS stands for Million Instructions per second.  It is a way of rating the processing power of the DSP. MFLOPS stands for Million floating-point operations per second.  It is a measure of floating-point processor speed that counts of the number of floating-point operations made per second. The number of processors refers to the number of processors embedded in the board.

Memory Specifications

Memory specifications to consider when selecting video processor boards include RAM per processor and Flash per processor.  RAM is Random Access Memory. It is a memory that stores data and instruction in static or dynamic cells. Contents can be read and written freely. Static RAMs can be faster and require only that power be applied to maintain the memory contents. Dynamic RAMs require additional refresh circuitry that provides an electrical refresh pulse on a regular basis. Other types are SRAM, SDRAM, SBSRAM, and others.  Common features for video processor boards include on board ADC or DAC, serial I/O port, Ethernet interface, and FPGA data I/O port.