Dusseldorf, Germany — (METERING.COM) — June 24, 2013 – A total of 15 new products in the RZ/A1 group of embedded microprocessor (MPU) solutions for creating sophisticated human-machine interface (HMI) implementations for the “smart society” of the future have been announced by Renesas Electronics.
A key feature of the new products is 10 MB of on-chip RAM, which is sufficient to handle instruction codes during program execution and large volumes of image data required for HMI applications such as graphics processing.
Since there is no need for additional external memory (DRAM), developers of new products can implement a WXGA-resolution (1,280 x 768 pixels) graphics display without concerns about the long term procurement of DRAM, while achieving improved system performance, reduced power consumption, and lower system cost overall. In addition, the use of a CPU designed by ARM® allows developers to take advantage of the ARM ecosystem, contributing to shorter system development cycles and a reduction in development costs.
Thanks to advances in information and communication technology (ICT) and semiconductors, all sorts of products and systems in use every day, including power grids and home appliances, as well as industrial equipment, building maintenance systems, automobiles, and transport infrastructure, are being connected to networks, and a “smart society” is emerging in which all aspects of our lives are linked to the cloud. Smartphones and tablets are rapidly gaining popularity as interfaces between people and the smart society, and demand is growing quickly for high resolution displays and touchscreen interfaces for common household appliances and industrial equipment.
Implementing such sophisticated networking and HMI functionality requires high levels of performance and functionality that have been difficult to achieve using MCUs alone, so traditional embedded MPUs requiring DRAM have generally been used for such applications. This approach has several downsides, however. The operating frequency requirements of the DRAM complicate the system design; frequent generational changes in DRAM interfaces mean that it is difficult to achieve long-term procurement stability for industrial equipment in particular; mounting area and electromagnetic noise increase; and the increasing sophistication of the equipment creates a growing software development burden.
The new RZ/A1 series is intended as a solution to these problems.