Development board/FPGA with lots of ports.

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by nipunmaster, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. nipunmaster

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    I am new to embedded systems, having worked previously with small microprocessors only. We have a project which requires a system with more than 4 USB ports, a VGA input port, and an optional separate VGA output port, RJ45 LAN interfacing for continuous transmission of data through the internet, a Microphone input, and a webcamera input. It should be able to duplicate the VGA and usb inputs to the outputs, and at the same time combine all of them and transmit them over the LAN to the internet. So what type of development board would I need? I am new to this so please tell me what processor I would need to use. And is it possible to program it in such a way that the individual inputs can be copied to another ports as outputs, in real time?
     
  2. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    I don't think such beast exists.

    And the VGA input sounds really weird.
     
  3. nipunmaster

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    By VGA input, I mean it should be able to take the VGA output coming from a normal computer and then send it over via the internet, and also send it back via another VGA port.
     
  4. shakilabanu

    Member

    Jul 8, 2014
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    You need a combination of different mixed signal interfaces to handle the individual interfaces and signals - all managed by a central FPGA/processor.
     
  5. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
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    I can imagine that with the VGA, but how do you expect it to work with USB? Do you want just to sniff the traffic, or be able to do something from the ethernet side?
     
  6. nipunmaster

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    Basically I want to extract the signals from the VGA and USB ports. Lets say we have a USB mouse. Now I want to connect this mouse to the device, the device will act as an intermediate, it will extract the USB mouse signals continuously and transmit it as a data stream over the ethernet. And at the same time, the mouse still needs to be used for a computer. So the device will route the mouse on another USB port from which a USB cable could be connected with a normal PC, so the PC will just see the mouse as a simple USB device. Same goes for the other ports and the VGA. I know VGA is very complicated so its okay if VGA cant be duplicated, I could just use a VGA extension, converting one VGA to two VGA ports. The set of signals from VGA and all the USB ports will be combined to a single data stream and streamed via LAN. Also the device will need to accept external signals from LAN for the USB ports, i.e., another mouse on LAN can be attached which can be used with the PC connected to the device.
     
  7. kubeek

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    Sep 20, 2005
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    I don't think this is possible, unless you want to have one port act as a usb host, then do some data manipulation and have another port act as a usb device. Of course this would either be very complex code, or you will have to limit this to HID devices.

    As for the VGA, you will need quite a lot of processing power to be able to compress the raw video signal into something that can be transmitted over LAN. Better use a dedicated KVM device.
     
  8. nipunmaster

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    The only devices which would be connected the device would be a USB mouse and a USB keyboard. So both would be HID compliant devices. How can I program such that signals are streamed to LAN and also routed to the other usb "device" port?

    I dont know what a KVM is. Google search says its a switch. Can you please explain how can I stream video from VGA by a KVM?
     
  9. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    The thing is... capturing vga signal from pc is kinda pointless. Run M$ Windows Media Encoder (free) or use VLC (free) to stream stuff from pc.

    M$ Windows Media Encoder was a companion application to Windows Media Player. I have run it on Xp. The Media Encoder 9 was the last old school version. They have renamed it since then and I think it is mostly free.

    VLC is VLC. It has been around for years now.
     
  10. nipunmaster

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    Actually, the device needs to work on all platforms, even at boot times, so using any kind of software to stream is not possible.
     
  11. sirch2

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    Jan 21, 2013
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    Mice don't work at boot time, drivers in the operating system need to load before the mouse works. What do you want to do with the mouse commands? It seems likely that there is no cross-platform protocol for mice, so you will have to recreate the driver for the specific OS at the remote end anyway.

    Alternatively, try googling "KVM over ethernet"
     
  12. nipunmaster

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    Yeah mouse doesn't work at boot time, but the keyboard does, and its the main device for the project.
    While looking for development platforms, I looked about Raspbery Pi. Can it be used in my project? It has a processor capable of handling HD video, USB ports, and supports linux also. And its cheap too :D. The only trouble would be to taking the VGA or HDMI to the Pi and streaming it.
     
  13. sirch2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
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    The PI has no VGA input and I'm not aware of any "computer" that does. Going back to your original specs, apart from VGA input, a MiniITX board might fit the bill, some have loads of IO.

    OR, as I said before, try googling "KVM over ethernet"
     
  14. nipunmaster

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    MiniItX fits in every way for building atleast a prototype. Just i need a way to capture from vga sources.
     
  15. kubeek

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    Sep 20, 2005
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    HDMI or DVI could be a bit easier than VGA. With KVM i meant not the switches, but there exist ethernet enabled variants that let you control a computer "hands on" over internet. They usually have ps/2 connectrors, but you can use an adapter to usb if you need to.
    This of course doesnt solve the sniffing part of the project.
     
  16. nipunmaster

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    Its fine for me to use VGA or DVI for the prototype. Yeah KVM allows to control over internet, but its out of scope for the project. Any way to take DVI/HDMI signal from a pc to another pc and see it as a video?
     
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