The ZedBoard Delivers for BBC Radio

Justin Mitchell, a principal engineer at BBC R&D, shared the details about a recent NICAM Codec replacement project at BBC Radio, in which the old and failing equipment (installed in 1983) was replaced with new devices centered around the Zedboard with the Xilinx Zynq FPGA chip.

Zedboard BBC
A look inside the Codec box, where the ZedBoard is located. Image from BBC.

The new equipment replaces the three data combiners, the 6-channel audio coder & decoder, the CRC inserter, the CRC checker, three data splitters, as well as the NICAM test waveform generator.  It was a big job for an overnight installation considering the number of listeners BBC Radio services.  

BBC blog image
About 61% of the UK population (35-40 million people) each week listen to the output of these coders over 220 network radio transmitter sites. Image from BBC.

So, when millions of people woke up the morning of November 20, 2015, and tuned into the BBC national radio services, they were blissfully unaware any changes had occurred. For such a massive technology change project, “this is an excellent result!” We can’t help but agree with Mr. Mitchell.

See additional pictures of the NICAM Codec replacement project, find specific details and read the full article here.

Interested in learning more about the Zynq FPGA and the Digilent development boards that utilize it? Check out the Zybo, ZedBoard, and the Zynq Book on our website,

Please share your comments with us here in the blog or on any of our social media channels:

Facebook  –  Twitter  –  LinkedIN  –  Instagram



Be the 1st to vote.

One Comment on “The ZedBoard Delivers for BBC Radio”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *