Powerful MPUs with RTOS support enable HD HMI and quick startup

05-08-2022 | Renesas | Semiconductors

Renesas Electronics Corporation now offers the RZ/A3UL group of MPU that allows a high-definition HMI and quick startup for applications that need high throughput and real-time capabilities. The new devices allow customers to attain the full potential of a RTOS while leveraging the performance boost provided by the 64-bit Arm Cortex-A55 CPU core with a maximum operating frequency of 1GHz. Using an RTOS allow systems to start up instantly in less than a second after boot-up. This feature is excellent for systems that need a fast response time, such as industrial equipment, home appliances and office automation equipment with LCDs or control panels, as well as audio equipment and POS terminals.

The new MPUs incorporate an Octal-SPI memory interface that enables simpler and more compact board designs. Also, the new devices include versions that support a DDR3L/DDR4 memory interface to allow the connection of high-speed DRAM. For example, the DDR3L/DDR4 memory interface executes a data transfer speed approximately ten times faster than the Octal-SPI memory interface, maximizing the performance required to allow an HD (1280x720) class display and an interactive and more sophisticated HMI using camera input or multiple types of sensors.

The devices support the industry's two leading RTOSes: FreeRTOS and Azure RTOS. As the company is a license provider of Azure RTOS for the RZ Family, users can just download the high-performance Azure RTOS from GitHub and get started instantly. Also, it provides a Flexible Software Package including FreeRTOS and HAL drivers that developers can employ as a reference when developing their own applications. An extensive suite of middleware is also offered for these operating systems, further decreasing the time and cost of 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," said Shigeki Kato, vice president of the Enterprise Infrastructure Business Division at Renesas. "I am confident that the RZ/A3UL will deliver the higher performance required while still giving customers the flexibility and ease of use offered by MCUs."

Moe Tanabian, vice president and general manager, Azure IoT, Light Edge, AI at Microsoft, added, "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."

The peripheral functions and package pin assignments of the devices 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 indicates that engineers can develop new products utilising the same board design just by replacing the chip. The compatibility between devices also permits engineers to effortlessly transition from a product that runs an RTOS to a Linux-based product, enabling efficient development across multiple product models.

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