TOKYO, Japan, February 16, 2011 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) and its subsidiary, Renesas Mobile Corporation, today announced the first release of the R-Car series of systems-on-chip (SoCs), the R-Car M1 series, offering low power consumption for next-generation dashboard-mounted car navigation systems and supporting advanced human machine interfaces (HMI).
The new R-Car M1 series of SoCs are Renesas Electronics' first members of the R-Car series, which represent the integration of the company's SH-Navi series (Note 1) and EMMA™ Car series (Note 2) products. These devices have had high adoption rates in car infotainment systems, such as dashboard-mounted car navigation systems. The R-Car M1 series of SoCs have been developed for mid-range systems which are expected to become the highest volume segment in the market and include the R-Car M1A and R-Car M1S as its lineup.
The R-Car M1 series of SoCs share the following key features: (1) Integration of the dedicated circuitry for intelligent multimedia processing saves approximately 92 percent of power in full 1920 × 1080-pixel HD (high-definition) video decoding relative to executing the same function in software on previous products; (2) Dedicated power supply IC for use in a voltage regulator reduces power consumption by approximately 20 percent from Renesas Electronics' existing products; (3) The POWERVR® SGX graphics core enhances 3D rendering performance, allowing designers to create realistic graphical user interfaces (GUIs, Note 3) and improved user operability; (4) Incorporation of ARM Cortex-A9 and Renesas Electronics SH-4A CPU cores operating at a maximum 800 megahertz (MHz), deliver superior processing performance of up to 3.7 Giga Instructions Per Second (GIPS.)
Recently, dashboard-mounted car navigation systems have been required to offer lower power consumption, especially when used in electric vehicles. These systems must also offer high-performance multimedia processing for video and audio, and an advanced HMI with realistic 3D graphics display, and improved user operability. The R-Car M1 SoCs support these demands and can achieve cost reduction, system miniaturization and reduced development time.
Key Features of the R-Car M1 Series of SoCs:
(1) Low power consumption while providing high-performance multimedia through the integration of dedicated circuits for processing of 1080 HD video and audio
The new R-Car M1 SoCs incorporate Renesas Electronics' high-performance, low-power video processing IP, the VPU5HD2. This IP delivers encoding and decoding performance of 30 frames per second (fps) in full 1080 HD with MPEG-2, while meeting the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC compression standard, and offers MPEG-4 decoding and VC-1 decoding, which can be used for a wide variety of video applications. The VPU5HD2 helps save approximately 92 percent of power compared to the same function done with software processing.
The new SoCs also incorporate Renesas Electronics' second-generation sound processing unit (SPU), which is a 24-bit audio processing engine. This unit enables an increased number of audio channels to be processed compared to the company's existing products, improving the digital signal processing (DSP) performance as well as the volume processing function. As an example, the R-Car M1 SoCs can support voice for a guided navigation function, while simultaneously executing audio processing for 5.1ch music. The SPU helps save approximately 88 percent of power compared to CPU software processing.
(2) Dedicated power supply IC for use in a voltage regulator enables low-power consumption and quicker time to market
The R-Car M1 series as well as the future R-Car series of SoCs will be offered with Renesas Electronics' newly developed dedicated power supply IC, the R2A11301, to be used as the multi-voltage regulator. This power supply IC realizes highly accurate output voltage with ±1 percent voltage variation, and has two outputs implemented for CPU core voltage and for DDR (DDR2/DDR3) memory voltage. The integrated adaptive voltage scaling (AVS) function enables control of output voltage-to-SoC to the optimum level, which saves up to 20 percent (estimate with AVS ±35mV (millivolts)) of power. This device also has an on-chip A/D converter to reduce the time needed for developing complex discrete power systems, thereby speeds time to market. Cost reduction is also achieved by reducing the number of parts.
(3) Realistic 3D images achieved with the latest 3D graphics processing unit (GPU)
Renesas Electronics' R-Car M1 series of SoCs use the latest POWERVR SGX 3D GPU from Imagination Technologies Limited for 3D graphics engine. While the R-Car M1 SoCs are targeted for mid-range systems, the drawing performance is faster than Renesas Electronics' existing devices, and should exceed the requirements of these systems. Drawing performance is measured at 20 M Polygon/s (mega polygons per second) and 1000 M Pixel/s (mega pixels per second) when operating at 200MHz. This allows the designer to achieve a more realistic GUI with richly detailed graphics.
(4) ARM Cortex-A9 and Renesas Electronics SH-4A architectures with hardware accelerators enabled by Renesas Electronics' high-quality software/middleware
In the R-Car M1A SoC, the ARM Cortex-A9 operates at a maximum frequency of 800MHz as the main CPU, and it achieves 3.7 GIPS together with a sub CPU, providing the highest performance of any Renesas Electronics SoC products for navigation. The R-Car M1A SoC also supports a wide variety of multimedia middleware available on the market and directly from Renesas Electronics.
The R-Car M1S SoC is based on Renesas Electronics SH-4A core, which is capable of general-purpose computation and media processing. Customers currently using the SH-4A core can continue to leverage their existing hardware and software for their future products.
With the introduction of the R-Car M1 products, Renesas Electronics enhances the R-Car lineup with a mid-range solution that allows customers to bring products easily to market. R-Car M1 series of SoCs are created with scalability in mind, allowing easy software migration from high- to low-performance solutions.
In addition, being the first products based on the Renesas Electronics' newly integrated SoC platform for its R-Mobile, R-Car, and R-Home products, the R-Car M1 series of SoCs provide scalability for Renesas Electronics' future SoC products for mobile applications and audio/visual applications as they are.
More information can be found on the separate sheet for the specifications of the R-Car M1 series.
Pricing and Availability
Samples of the R-Car M1 series of SoCs will be available in May 2011. The R-Car M1A SoC will be priced at US$70 and the R-CAR M1S will be priced at US$65. Mass production is scheduled to begin at a rate of 30,000 per month in 2012 June, with an expected total shipment of 4.8 million pieces in 2014 between the two devices.
- (Note 1) SH-Navi series: SoC devices for automotive infotainment systems such as car navigation. These devices are equipped with 32-bit RISC SuperH CPU cores.
- (Note 2) EMMA Car series: SoCs for automotive infotainment equipped with an ARM core CPU.
- (Note 3) GUI (Graphical User Interface): A user interface that displays information by using rendered graphics and is intuitive for the user to operate with a pointing device.
About Renesas Electronics Corporation
Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), the world's number one supplier of microcontrollers, is a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions including microcontrollers, SoC solutions and a broad-range of analog and power devices. Business operations began as Renesas Electronics in April 2010 through the integration of NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723) and Renesas Technology Corp., with operations spanning research, development, design and manufacturing for a wide range of applications. Headquartered in Japan, Renesas Electronics has subsidiaries in 20 countries worldwide. More information can be found at www.renesas.com.