Monday, February 26, 2024

High-Performance Microcontrollers With AI Features

By Nidhi Agarwal

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The microcontrollers with over 3000 CoreMark points are launched, offering real-time operation, advanced processor technology, and efficient power usage for diverse application needs.

RA8

Renesas Electronics Corporation has launched the world’s most powerful microcontrollers (MCUs), achieving over 3000 CoreMark points and offering fully deterministic, real-time operation for demanding applications. The RA8 Series MCUs, the first to incorporate the Arm Cortex-M85 processor, deliver good 6.39 CoreMark/MHz1 performance, broadening their use to applications traditionally needing microprocessors (MPUs). As part of the well-received RA Family of MCUs built on Arm Cortex processors, the new series allows easy portability of existing designs to the RA8 MCUs.

The MCUs feature Arm Helium technology, Arm’s M-Profile Vector Extension, which delivers up to 4X the performance for digital signal processing (DSP) and machine learning (ML) tasks compared to MCUs based on the Arm Cortex-M7 processor. This significant performance improvement could allow customers to forego an additional DSP in specific systems. 

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The MCUs combine performance with security and power efficiency. They feature the Cortex-M85 core with Arm TrustZone technology for secure partitioning and include the company’s Security IP for cryptographic operations and secure boot. Aiming for significant security certifications, these MCUs are efficient in power usage with new features and modes, independent power domains, quick wakeup times, and low current consumption. This design not only improves performance but also aids in meeting regulatory power requirements, positioning the RA8 Series as a solution for applications needing performance, security, and efficiency.

The MCUs are supported by Renesas’ Flexible Software Package (FSP), which helps speed up application development. It includes infrastructure software such as multiple RTOS, BSP, peripheral drivers, middleware, connectivity, networking, security stacks, and reference software for AI, motor control, and cloud solutions. Using the FSP simplifies the migration of existing designs to the new RA8 Series devices.

“We’re proud to introduce the new RA8 Series with the powerful Arm Cortex-M85 processor. As the world’s MCU leader, our customers expect leading-edge performance and functionality from Renesas,” said Roger Wendelken, Senior Vice President and Head of the MCU Business at Renesas. “They also rely on us to help them navigate new trends and technical challenges. The RA8 Series sets a new bar for MCU performance and features and will ease the implementation of AI in a huge array of new applications.”

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