Renesas Electronics today announced the availability of the R-Car M2 automotive Systems-on-Chip (SoC), designed to address growing integrated dashboard and information device market demands. Capable of delivering more than 12,000 DMIPS (Note 1) and twice the graphics performance of previous generation high-end devices, the R-Car M2 supports high-definition navigation, real-time voice control and other advanced features to provide enhanced connected user experiences within the car.
An R-Car M2 software development board is also now under development and will be available in December 2013 to further simplify and speed the development cycle for designers working with the R-Car M2 SoC. With the newest member of its R-Car series, Renesas aims to expand and reinforce the ecosystem (Note 2) led by the R-Car Consortium, the partner program of operating system (OS) and software providers.
“The new R-Car M2 features a dual ARM® Cortex™ A-15 core – a CPU that delivers both the performance and pricing desired for mid-range automotive solutions,” said Tatsuya Nishihara, Vice President, Chief of Automotive Solutions Business Division Renesas Electronics Corporation. “In addition, Renesas continues to expand the R-Car ecosystem, adding new partners to our R-Car Consortium and strengthening strategic alliances to provide customers the tools they need to quickly and cost-effectively bring their differentiated solutions to market.”
The new R-Car M2 SoC exceeds the previous high-end R-Car H1, with more than three times the enhanced CPU and approximately 6 times the graphics capacity and three times the memory bus function compared to the previous R-Car M1. In addition, the software package utilizes the software developed on R-Car H2.
Automotive information devices today integrate IT such as cloud computing with smartphones, and functions for safety such as around-view monitoring with onboard camera to offer drivers higher security, safety, and conformity. As integrated dashboard systems improve and become more and complex, auto makers require higher performance, function, and product quality. This results in higher difficulty in hardware/software development, rising development cost, longer development period, and difficulty in maintaining product quality.
Renesas’ R-Car Series of automotive SoCs addresses these evolving automotive needs. Renesas introduced the first gen-2 product, the R-Car H2 for high-end applications, in March 2013. With the R-Car M2 SoC, Renesas continues to develop robust solutions designed to support the growing demand for “smarter”, feature-rich in-car systems. To help improve the user’s development efficiency, Renesas has organized an R-Car consortium that includes OS and middleware providers, and system integrators to support development in automotive information device manufacturers. In addition to the new SoC, Renesas plans to expand the R-Car Consortium, doubling overseas partners from 15 to 30, and a total number of partner companies from 99 to 120, by the end of December, 2013.
Together with the R-Car M2 SoC, Renesas plans to introduce a low-cost development tool supporting the product to expand to R-Car Consortium partners especially those overseas, and to solve the difficulties regarding development.
Key features of the R-Car M2 and integrated dashboard solution:
1) Capable of delivering more than 12,000 DMIPS and twice the graphics performance of high-end products
Two state-of-the-art Cortex-A15 CPUs realize more than 12,000 DMIPS. Simultaneous operation of high-end functions such as high-definition navigation, intelligent browsing or precise speech recognition is compatible with real-time responses to drivers’ requests.
The highest performance is realized by upgrading to the PowerVR™ SGX544MP2 from Imagination Technologies and by raising the operating frequency from 250 MHz to 520 MHz. The system supports high-resolution/high-definition display as well as simultaneous drawing to multiple displays.
2) Optimized functions to mid-range automotive information devices to realize software compatibility in the product family
The total cost is minimized by integrating functions required in next-generation, mid-range automotive information device in one chip. The R-Car M2 shares not only the function IP but also the memory map with R-Car H2, to unify the driver and middleware, and also software development and control to R-Car H2/M2, which contributes to the reduction of development cost and development time.
3) Offers low-cost software development board to expand development partners
The evaluation board for SoC functions was previously used in software development with the partners. A low-cost software development board prepared with 1/5 the cost of the previous board is currently in development, concentrating on functions for software development by the partners. The board is to be released in December 2013. Renesas offers packaged standard software such as driver or middleware to support customer development of application or system integration in cooperation with R-Car Consortium partner companies.
The R-Car M2 device and the ecosystem are regarded as a solution for improving users’ development efficiency, developing more complicated automotive information devices. Renesas will work on further sales and partner expansion, with plans to grow its R-Car Consortium, increasing the number of partner companies from 99 to 120 by December 2013, including double the number of overseas partners, from 15 to 30.
Samples of the Renesas R-Car M2 SoC are available now, equipped in an 831-pin FCBGA (flip chip ball grid array) package. Mass production is scheduled to begin in June 2015 and is expected to reach a combined production volume of 500,000 units per month by June 2016. A low-cost development board implementing the R-Car M2 will be available from December 2013. (Availability is subject to change without notice.)
Note 1) DMIPS (Dhrystone Million Per Second): One of the computer performance index calculated from Dhrystone benchmark program.
Note 2) Ecosystem: The collectivity of development tools such as OS, compiler and debugger, developers, and solution providers focusing on a CPU architecture.