Author Topic: Cheap FPGA for HDMI 2.0 4k reception?  (Read 3034 times)

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Offline nctnicoTopic starter

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Cheap FPGA for HDMI 2.0 4k reception?
« on: September 16, 2023, 09:30:40 am »
For an upcoming project I could use a cheap FPGA that can receive HDMI 2.0 (or better) at 4k 60Hz to create an HDMI to LVDS converter (*). I have found some articles about FPGA vendors claiming to be able to receive HDMI but I have not spotted any parts. I don't need sound or content protection and I have full control over the source. Any suggestions?

* I know there are chips which can do this but these look like boutique parts that could be hard to source long term.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2023, 02:17:41 pm by nctnico »
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Online asmi

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Re: Cheap FPGA for HDMI 2.0 4k reception?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2023, 01:59:51 am »
HDMI 2.0 requires 6 Gbps per lane, so just about any Artix-7 device with speed grade 2 or 3 will do it. You will need an external level shifter. How "cheap" will it be depends on where you buy it, and what kind of density you require. Also read the datasheet carefully as not all packages bond out transceivers.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2023, 03:07:24 am by asmi »
 
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Offline nctnicoTopic starter

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Re: Cheap FPGA for HDMI 2.0 4k reception?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2023, 09:21:18 am »
Thanks. Those are still rather expensive. Too expensive to replace an HDMI to LVDS board you can buy from China for a few dollars. I also looked at Efinix (Ti90) but those are expensive as well. I'm still hoping there is an FPGA out there with HDMI implemented as a hard-IP block. Gowin makes some mention about it but I have not been able to track down which device has this.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2023, 09:24:55 am by nctnico »
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Online asmi

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Re: Cheap FPGA for HDMI 2.0 4k reception?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2023, 02:22:40 pm »
Thanks. Those are still rather expensive. Too expensive to replace an HDMI to LVDS board you can buy from China for a few dollars.
FPGA solution is always going to be more expensive than a specialized hard silicon device.

I'm still hoping there is an FPGA out there with HDMI implemented as a hard-IP block.
Not gonna happen, it's way too specialized and will become obsolete by the time it reaches the market. This is why FPGAs come with generic transceivers which can be used to implement a multitude of different protocols, including those which didn't even exist at a time FPGA design was taped out to manufacturing, as opposed to hard IPs.

Offline Scrts

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Re: Cheap FPGA for HDMI 2.0 4k reception?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2023, 03:19:42 pm »
What type of LVDS is expected here? One twisted pair? It will be needed to drive a display or to route the data to some other location using a cable and then "deserialized" to HDMI again?
 

Offline nctnicoTopic starter

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Re: Cheap FPGA for HDMI 2.0 4k reception?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2023, 03:41:09 pm »
What type of LVDS is expected here? One twisted pair? It will be needed to drive a display or to route the data to some other location using a cable and then "deserialized" to HDMI again?
No. The end goal is to drive a 4k TFT panel. 4k@60Hz will require 4x4 (=16 lanes + 4 clock lanes) of LVDS at least. The SoC I like to use can only output 4k on HDMI. On Mipi-DSI it is limited to full-HD (1920x1080).
« Last Edit: September 18, 2023, 03:42:50 pm by nctnico »
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Online asmi

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Re: Cheap FPGA for HDMI 2.0 4k reception?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2023, 04:28:30 pm »
No. The end goal is to drive a 4k TFT panel. 4k@60Hz will require 4x4 (=16 lanes + 4 clock lanes) of LVDS at least. The SoC I like to use can only output 4k on HDMI. On Mipi-DSI it is limited to full-HD (1920x1080).
So you have a 4k panel which is driven by LVDS? That's interesting to know, as all 4k panels I've came across are usually driven by eDP or DSI. eDP is most common in laptops and tablets, while DSI is used extensively in smartphones.
 
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Offline Scrts

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Re: Cheap FPGA for HDMI 2.0 4k reception?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2023, 05:54:50 pm »
What type of LVDS is expected here? One twisted pair? It will be needed to drive a display or to route the data to some other location using a cable and then "deserialized" to HDMI again?
No. The end goal is to drive a 4k TFT panel. 4k@60Hz will require 4x4 (=16 lanes + 4 clock lanes) of LVDS at least. The SoC I like to use can only output 4k on HDMI. On Mipi-DSI it is limited to full-HD (1920x1080).

It's a specific panel? Or you are basically looking to redesign a 4k TV? Just use a TV... :-//
 

Offline sd

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Re: Cheap FPGA for HDMI 2.0 4k reception?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2023, 06:42:24 pm »
I have never seen a 4K panel with LVDS interface. Usually the maximum is 1080p for dual channel LVDS and 1440P for quad channel (which are rare). Are you sure your panel isn't eDP/DSI or V-By-One?

 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Cheap FPGA for HDMI 2.0 4k reception?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2023, 08:35:30 pm »
Thanks. Those are still rather expensive. Too expensive to replace an HDMI to LVDS board you can buy from China for a few dollars. I also looked at Efinix (Ti90) but those are expensive as well. I'm still hoping there is an FPGA out there with HDMI implemented as a hard-IP block. Gowin makes some mention about it but I have not been able to track down which device has this.

If you find one worth just a couple dollars that can support HDMI in 4K let us know. Unless we have all missed the ultimate gem, chances are either you won't find anything like that, or that'll be a pretty niche chip with not much guarantee in terms of support and supply.

I have never seen a 4K panel with LVDS interface. Usually the maximum is 1080p for dual channel LVDS and 1440P for quad channel (which are rare). Are you sure your panel isn't eDP/DSI or V-By-One?

Same thought, it sounds unusual, but possibly industrial-type panels, for which LVDS is still rather common.
 

Offline nctnicoTopic starter

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Re: Cheap FPGA for HDMI 2.0 4k reception?
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2023, 10:42:49 pm »
I have never seen a 4K panel with LVDS interface. Usually the maximum is 1080p for dual channel LVDS and 1440P for quad channel (which are rare). Are you sure your panel isn't eDP/DSI or V-By-One?
That is a good one, thanks for bringing that up. Typically I don't bother with panel selection. The 4k spec is from the customer (which has standarised at LVDS so far) but it looks like all of the 4k industrial panels use V-by-one links indeed. But maybe they manage to source an LVDS one. The LVDS clock would be roughly around 140MHz.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2023, 10:47:08 pm by nctnico »
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Online asmi

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Re: Cheap FPGA for HDMI 2.0 4k reception?
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2023, 11:14:28 pm »
That is a good one, thanks for bringing that up. Typically I don't bother with panel selection. The 4k spec is from the customer (which has standarised at LVDS so far) but it looks like all of the 4k industrial panels use V-by-one links indeed. But maybe they manage to source an LVDS one. The LVDS clock would be roughly around 140MHz.
If you can influence the panel selection, I'd recommend to push for one driven by eDP, as it's ubiquitous everywhere.


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