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Video Connectivity Using TMDS I/O in Spartan-3A FPGAs

Video Connectivity Using TMDS I/O in Spartan-3A FPGAs

Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) is a standard used for transmitting video data over the Digital Visual Interface (DVI) and High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI). Both interfaces are commonly used by consumer electronics including flat panel TVs, PC monitors, DVD players, PC desktops, and video game consoles.

This application note describes a set of reference designs able to transmit and receive DVI or HDMI data streams up to 700 Mb/s using the native TMDS I/O interface featured by Spartan®-3A FPGAs.

The DVI and HDMI protocols use TMDS at the physical level. TMDS throughput is a function of the serial data rate of the video screen mode being transmitted. This in turn determines the Spartan-3A FPGA speed grade that must be used to support this throughput.