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Macnica Brings New SmartNIC Solution to Life for IP Product Developers

Macnica MEP100

To be introduced at NAB Show 2024, the hardware-accelerated MEP100 drives SMPTE ST 2110 processing for on-prem broadcast and live production workflows

SOLANA BEACH, CALIFORNIA, March 27, 2024 — Macnica’s leadership in SMPTE ST 2110 innovation takes another step forward with the release of the MEP100, a new 100Gb SmartNIC solution targeted for hardware and software product developers in the broadcast and ProAV industries. Macnica will demonstrate the MEP100’s high-performance media processing, stream protection, and bandwidth benefits in an on-booth exhibit of an end-to-end ST 2110 4K/HD networking ecosystem at NAB Show 2024. Macnica exhibits at C1726.

Macnica has equipped the MEP100 SmartNIC card with powerful resources to optimize performance and reliability of uncompressed media transport over ST 2110 IP networks. That begins with an FPGA hardware acceleration engine that offers product developers significant advantages over software-based alternatives. For example, ST 2110 IP packets are processed within the MEP100’s FPGA IP core architecture, freeing valuable CPU resources for the intended application.

The above means that the MEP100’s full ST 2110 stack can transfer video, audio and data directly to and from the host CPU and GPU memory and the SmartNIC card, instead of using CPU resources within the operating system. That full ST 2110 stack can include performance-focused IP networking applications including PTP timing (for synchronization), network path redundancy, and on-board JPEG-XS compression. The latter, available soon, will support visually lossless, low-latency media transport for greater channel density through the card.

The FPGA-driven architecture also ensures the lowest possible latency and maximizes network bandwidth efficiency for uncompressed ST 2110 transport, with robust stream protection afforded through SMPTE ST 2202-7 hitless merge. The ST 2202-7 specification supports reliable network path redundancy, with parallel streams borrowing lost packets from each other as they move through the network. Transport streams are fully reassembled upon reaching their destinations to maintaining optimal signal integrity.

The MEP100 is built using Altera Agilex 7 FPGAs to withstand the most bandwidth- and compute-intensive applications. It ships with Macnica’s M2S SDK, a flexible media streaming software development kit that works with all major network hardware. The M2S SDK provides a simple and intuitive API for sending and receiving media data on more generalized PC and software platforms, which also positions the MEP100 as valuable for IPMX product development. IPMX is a suite of standards based on ST 2110 but with more flexible parameters that open product development opportunities that involve asynchronous devices.

“The MEP100 delivers a special and unique stream processing solution for ST 2110 product developers that that are ready to develop today,” said Andrew Starks, Director of Product Development, Macnica. “With professional features that optimize performance for live broadcasts, large-scale production environments and much more, the MEP100 is an ideal SmartNIC solution for developers that want to bring their own high-end hardware products to market, or integrate a reliable media transport solution within PC workstations for deployment in broadcast or ProAV environments.”

Starks adds that broadcast infrastructure equipment, vision and presentation switchers, and image mapping systems represent potential high-end hardware products ripe for development using the MEP100.

NAB Show 2024 takes place April 14-17 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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