Maniac’s MEP100 Card Can Deliver AV-over-IP Uncompressed or With JPEG-XS Compression

macnica mep100

Macnica released of the MEP100, a new 100Gb SmartNIC solution targeted for hardware and software product developers in the broadcast and ProAV industries. Macnica says it has equipped the MEP100 SmartNIC card with 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 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.