Renesas designs ARM big.LITTLE processor in super car chip

It is one of the first commercial chips to implement ARM's big.LITTLE processor configuration which integrates a CortexA-15 quad-core and CortexA-7 quad-core processors

Renesas Electronics has announced the availability of a new member of the R-Car Series of automotive system-on-chip (SoC) multimedia processors.

The multicore SoC is one of the first commercial chips to implement ARM’s big.LITTLE processor configuration which integrates a CortexA-15 quad-core configuration running an additional CortexA-7 quad-core processor.

As a result the R-Car H2 chip’s 25,000 DMIPS performance will support 3D graphics capabilities for high-end multimedia and navigation automotive systems.

On-chip hardware accelerators support 4 x HD 1080p video en/decoding including Blu-Ray support at 60 frames per second, image/voice recognition and high-resolution 3D graphics with almost no CPU load.

The R-Car H2 also integrates Imagination Technologies PowerVR Series6 G6400 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).

The processing performance of this chip indicates the increasing need for high-end multimedia video and graphics performance in vehicles and particularly in the user interfaces

The GPU not only supports open technologies like OpenGL ES 2.0, but also the OpenGL ES 3.0 and OpenCL standards.

Renesas has also created an ecosystem, including board support packages (BSPs), created in partnership with software firms and tool suppliers.

“1st generation R-Car series products are well accepted in the car infotainment market” said Ryuji Omura, executive manager, Renesas Electronics. “To cover various customer demands, 2nd generation of R-Car, such as R-Car H2, aimed at the further expansion of Eco-system with a number of our partners including embedded OS, middleware and Tool vendors.”

The device’s multi-core architecture is designed to allow implementation of real-time features, such as quick-boot, backup camera support, and media processing, parallel to the execution of operating systems such as QNX Neutrino RTOS, Windows Embedded Automotive or Linux.

“The new R-Car H2 automotive SoC reflects a deep understanding of customer requirements and addresses performance requirements of next-generation infotainment systems. We look forward to having the QNX CAR application platform supported by the R-Car H2,” said John Wall, vice president, engineering services, QNX Software Systems.

Renesas also implements its own IMP-X4 core as an optional feature to provide real-time image processing that will support the emerging use of augmented reality.

In order to fully benefit from the IMP-X4 core, the R-Car H2 also supports up to four independent input camera channels, allowing easy implementations of 360º camera views and image recognition, just an example of the possible driver assistance functions.

“The R-CAR H2 brings together a powerful multi-domain architecture to meet the demands of high-end next generation Automotive Infotainment Systems,” said Glenn Perry, General Manager of the Embedded Software Division at Mentor Graphics.

R-Car 2nd Generation Launch Partners, include: Altera, BSQUARE, Lauterbach, Mentor Graphics, Micron Technology, Microsoft, Opera Software ASA, QNX Software Systems, Tata Elxsi and Wind River Systems.

Samples of the Renesas R-Car H2 SoC are available in a 831-pin FCBGA (flip chip ball grid array) package.

Mass production is scheduled for mid-2014.

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