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Modular SGDMA Video Frame Buffer

Modular SGDMA Video Frame Buffer

This design utilizes the Modular SGDMA design example to implement frame buffering using an Avalon ST based video pipeline. Using the park feature of the descriptor frames are committed to the SGDMA and the hardware handles redisplaying the same frame if no other frames are present. You can use this hardware to display single frames or full motion video with additional video rendering software and hardware.


Design Specification

This design contains the following components:

  • Nios II 'f' core
  • PLL (video clock)
  • Push button
  • JTAG Uart
  • High Performance DDR SDRAM Controller
  • Video streaming pipeline

Minimum Requirements

This design requires:

  • Quartus II version 9.1
  • Nios II Embedded Evaluation Kit, Cyclone III Edition (NEEK)

Design Usage

The hardware has already been compiled for your convenience, if you wish to recompile the hardware then you must regenerate the system in SOPC Builder. Navigate to the following location using the Nios II command shell:

<hardware project>/software

From there you can run the script called '' by typing the following:


The script will generate make files for the application and bsp, compile the software, download the hardware and software to the board, and open a terminal.

After the hardware and software has been downloaded to the board you should see a red frame being displayed on the LCD. Pushing the button labled 'BUTTON1' will cause the software to progress to displaying green frame and if pressed again a blue frame will be displayed. This sequence will repeat as there are only three frames rendered and stored in the frame buffer memory.


File:Modular SGDMA FRAME

  • Note: I haven't updated the file set in a while and a few minor changes have been made to the mSGDMA. Make sure to visit the "Modular SGDMA" wiki page to get the latest and greatest IP.


You are free to use this design in any way you like. If you want to contibute to this project feel free to do so. I'm providing this design as is and Altera will not be supporting it.

Version history
Last update:
‎06-25-2019 07:35 PM
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