Monday, 08 August 2022 08:56

Renesas unveils RZ/A3UL microprocessors

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Semiconductor supplier solutions Renesas unveils the RZ/A3UL group of microprocessors that enable high-definition human-machine interface and quick start-up for applications that require high throughput and real-time capabilities.

Customers can leverage the microprocessors to achieve real-time operating system while benefiting from the performance boost provide by the 64-bit Arm Cortex-A55 CPU core with 1GHz frequency.

This facilitates a quick start-up, which is ideal for systems that require a fast response time such as industrial equipment, home appliances, and office automation equipment with liquid crystal displays or control panels as well as audio equipment and POS terminals.

The new RZ/A3UL MPUs integrates an Octal-SPI memory interface that allows simpler and more compact board designs.

In addition, the new devices include versions that support a DDR3L/DDR4 memory interface to enable connection of high-speed DRAM.

For example, the DDR3L/DDR4 memory interface achieves a data transfer speed approximately 10x faster than the Octal-SPI memory interface, maximising the performance needed to enable an HD (1280x720) class display and an interactive and more sophisticated HMI utilizing camera input or various types of sensors.

The RZ/A3UL supports two RTOSes: FreeRTOS and Azure RTOS. Since Renesas is a license provider of Azure RTOS for the RZ Family, users can simply download the Azure RTOS from GitHub.

In addition, Renesas offers a flexible software package including FreeRTOS and HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) drivers that developers can use as a reference when developing their own applications.

An extensive suite of middleware is also available for both operating systems, further reducing the time and cost for development.

“Many customers who use RTOSes tell us that they want to retain features like excellent real-time capabilities and quick startup, but that they also want higher resolution and better performance,” explained Renesas vice president enterprise infrastructure business division Shigeki Kato.

“The combination of high-performance MPUs like the RZ/A3UL, with the real-time capabilities of Azure RTOS, will directly improve the performance of our customers' devices,” added Microsoft vice president and general manager Azure IoT Light Edge Moe Tanabian.

The peripheral functions and package pin assignments of the RZ/A3UL are compatible with the RZ/G2UL that employs the Cortex-A55 core targeting Linux-based HMI applications, and with the RISC-V-based RZ/Five products.

This means that engineers can develop new products using the same board design simply by replacing the chip.

The compatibility between devices also allows engineers to transition from a product that runs an RTOS to a Linux-based product, facilitating efficient development across multiple product models.

Renesas said it has designed an HMI solution RTOS Based RZ/A3UL HMI SMARC SOM that uses the RZ/A3UL and other compatible devices from Renesas and its partners’ portfolios.

This is a module conforming to the industry-standard SMARC 2.1 form factor. It incorporates devices including the DA9062 power management IC, 5P35023 programmable clock generator, AT25QL128A flash memory IC, and SLG46538 GreenPAK implementing peripheral functions such as system reset.

It can be used to evaluate the RZ/A3UL and also as a reference design to help shorten development time.

This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 5 August 2022.

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Kenn Anthony Mendoza

Kenn Anthony Mendoza is the newest member of the iTWire team. Kenn is also a contributing writer for South China Morning Post Style, and has written stories on Korean entertainment, Asian and European royalty, Millionaires and Billionaires, and LGBTQIA+ issues. He has been published in Philippine newspapers, magazines, and online sites: Tatler PhilippinesManila BulletinCNN Philippines LifePhilippine StarManila Times, and The Daily Tribune. Kenn now covers all aspects of technology news for iTWire.com.

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