Monday, February 26, 2024

New MCUs With Enhanced Performance, Graphics Power, Security For Versatile Applications

By Akanksha Sondhi Gaur

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These processor-powered solutions deliver unprecedented performance, advanced graphics, and security for building automation, smart home, consumer electronics, and medical sectors.

Renesas Electronics Corporation have announced the launch of RA8D1 microcontroller (MCU) group. This latest addition to the RA8 Series represents a significant milestone as it debuts the utilization of the Arm Cortex-M85 processor in the company’s MCUs, marking a monumental leap in performance and functionality. It offer an astounding breakthrough with over 6.39 CoreMark/MHz1, combined with an expansive memory, enhanced graphics capabilities, and versatile peripheral functions meticulously designed to cater to a wide range of applications. These applications span sectors such as building automation, home appliances, smart homes, consumer electronics, and the medical industry.

It has Arm Cortex-M85 processor, enhanced with Arm’s cutting-edge Helium technology, which features a vector/SIMD instruction set extension. This innovative technology empowers the MCUs with up to a remarkable 4X performance boost, particularly for digital signal processor (DSP) and machine learning (ML) implementations, surpassing the capabilities of the Cortex-M7 core. This added performance prowess is particularly advantageous for graphics rendering and neural network processing, even eliminating the need for a separate hardware accelerator in select applications. The MCUs also incorporate advanced security measures, including Arm TrustZone technology, the company Security IP (RSIP-E51A), Secure Boot with a first-stage bootloader stored in immutable storage, Octal SPI interface with Decryption-on-the-fly (DOTF), and Pointer Authentication and Branch Target Identification (PACBTI) security extension.

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Key Features of the Group MCUs

  • Core: 480 MHz Arm Cortex-M85 with Helium and TrustZone
  • Memory: Integrated 2MB/1MB Flash memory and 1MB SRAM (including TCM, 512KB ECC protected)
  • Graphics Peripherals: Graphics LCD controller supporting resolutions up to WXGA (1280×800), parallel RGB and MIPI-DSI interfaces to external LCD and/or TFT display, powerful 2D drawing engine, 16-bit CEU camera interface, 32-bit external SDRAM interface
  • Advanced Security: Leading-edge cryptographic algorithms, TrustZone, Secure Boot, immutable storage, tamper resistance with DPA/SPA attack protection, secure debug, secure factory programming, and lifecycle management support
  • Packages: 176-pin LQFP, 224-pin BGA

The devices introduce a multitude of impressive features, including a high-resolution graphics LCD controller equipped with parallel RGB and MIPI-DSI interfaces for LCD panels, a powerful 2D graphics drawing engine, a 16-bit camera interface (CEU), multiple external memory interfaces for efficient storage of frame buffers and graphics assets, and package options with 176 and 224 pins. These capabilities are further enriched by professional-grade graphics user interface software solutions from renowned providers such as SEGGER emWin and Microsoft GUIX, seamlessly integrated into the company’s Flexible Software Package (FSP). The company extends support for the open-source Light and Versatile Graphics Library (LVGL) and maintains a robust network of graphics and AI ecosystem partners. To facilitate development in the graphics domain, a comprehensive graphics evaluation kit with an LCD panel and camera module is available, offering a powerful development platform for applications such as industrial human-machine interfaces (HMI), video doorbells, patient monitors, graphics calculators, security panels, printer display panels, and appliance displays.

The versatile software package accelerates application development by providing a comprehensive set of infrastructure software components, including multiple real-time operating systems (RTOS), board support packages (BSP), peripheral drivers, middleware, connectivity and networking stacks, and robust security features. Moreover, it offers reference software to facilitate the development of complex AI, motor control, and cloud solutions. The FSP empowers customers to integrate their legacy code seamlessly and preferred RTOS with Renesas’ FSP, ensuring unparalleled flexibility in application development and simplifying the transition of existing designs to the new RA8 Series devices. The RA8D1 Group MCUs are available for immediate purchase, along with the FSP software package. 

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