On-Chip 10MB RAM Enables Low-Power, Low-Cost Embedded Display Applications Up to WXGA (1280x768) Resolution by Removing the Need for External DRAM Memory
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — June 20, 2013 — Renesas Electronics America, a leading supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today introduced the RZ/A1 group of ARM® Cortex™-A9 microprocessors (MPUs) for automotive, consumer and industrial applications that require rich user interfaces with high-resolution displays. Target applications include automotive infotainment, home appliances, control panels, medical displays, machine vision, barcode imagers and printers. The RZ/A series will have three product groups: RZ/A1H, RZ/A1M and RZ/A1L with 10MB, 5MB and 3MB of on-chip RAM respectively.
“As we move towards a Smart society, it is becoming increasingly critical to provide complete solutions for human machine interface (HMI) without sacrificing energy efficiency, performance and time to market,” said Ritesh Tyagi, senior director, microcontroller products, Renesas Electronics America. “We are expanding our relationship with ARM® for the development of the new Renesas RZ/A1 microprocessor family and partnering with leading ecosystem vendors to help our customers innovate faster and further reduce system development costs.”
For embedded imaging applications, customers are demanding a rich and easy-to-use graphical interface and a wide array of connectivity options. Higher display resolutions increase system memory requirements, forcing system designers to use external DRAM memory, which in turn drives up system power and cost. The high complexity of the DRAM-based designs increases the customer’s time to market. Further, frequent upgrades in DRAM technologies affect the procurement stability needed to support the long product life cycles of industrial and automotive products.
The new Renesas RZ/A1 group features a high-performance ARM® Cortex™-A9 core operating at 400MHz and a large 10MB on-chip RAM that can buffer the data needed to drive displays up to WXGA (1280x768) without the need for external DRAM memory. By eliminating the external DRAM memory, system BOM cost and power are significantly reduced. The lack of external DRAM reduces the number of switching signals and mitigates electromagnetic interference (EMI) concerns. System designs become simpler, enabling customers to bring their products to market quicker. Procurement stability concerns are alleviated by the long life offered by Renesas on its products.
The Renesas RZ/A1 group offers large integrated on-chip RAM from 3MB to 10MB. By using on-chip RAM memory instead of external DRAM, the static power consumption of the device is reduced significantly. The on-chip memory can be accessed by high-speed multi-layer internal buses, which enable high data throughput needed for the graphics applications.
The RZ/A1 group inherits its peripheral set from the Renesas SH7260 series that has a proven track record in a wide range of HMI applications. To handle animations efficiently, the RZ/A1 family has a 2D graphics acceleration engine that conforms to the OpenVG 1.1 interface. Other imaging peripherals include JPEG encoder/decoder, digital and analog video input interfaces, and LCD controllers with support for multiple image layers. The RZ/A1 family supports several connectivity options including CAN, Ethernet, high-speed USB 2.0 and serial interfaces.
By using the ARM® Cortex™-A9 core, the new devices benefit from a large global ecosystem of hardware and software development tools and partners. Renesas is partnering with several leading technology partners including IAR systems, Green Hills Software, ARM, Express Logic, Micrium, and Altia to provide tools and middleware solutions for real-time operating systems (RTOS), networking, USB, graphics and file systems.
In an industry first, Renesas and ARM are jointly developing a version of the real-time OS of the Cortex™-M, RTX CMSIS (Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard)-RTOS, for the Cortex-A. This facilitates transition of application software developed from Cortex-M processors to Cortex-A processors and provides customers the ability to easily upscale performance.
“ARM is pleased that Renesas is widening its ARM processor-based product portfolio,” said Keith Clarke, vice president, Embedded Processors, Processor Division, ARM. “Recognizing the importance of the market for automotive and industrial applications, ARM and Renesas have adapted the CMSIS-RTOS RTX to work with ARM Cortex-A series processors for the first time. The combination of Renesas’ deep experience in the embedded business, with ARM’s low-power processor technology and productivity-enhancing software tools, will enable our mutual customers to develop many more attractive solutions for automotive and industrial applications.”
For more information, please visit the RZ product website at http://www.renesas.com/products/mpumcu/rz/rza/rza1/index.jsp#overview.
The list of RZ launch partners can be found at http://www.renesas.com/products/mpumcu/rz/rza/peer/eco_system.jsp#partner.
Samples of select RZ/A1L and RZ/A1H products will be available starting in July 2013. For pricing or additional information, please contact Renesas Electronics America at Email Contact. (Availability subject to change without notice.)
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