Powerful single-chip MPU for next-gen robotics with vision AI and real-time control

06-03-2024 | Renesas | Semiconductors

Renesas Electronics Corporation has extended its RZ Family of MPUs with a new device aimed at high-performance robotics applications. Delivering the highest levels of performance within the family, the RZ/V2H allows vision AI and real-time control capabilities.

The device comes with a new generation of proprietary AI accelerator, DRP (Dynamically Reconfigurable Processor)-AI3, delivering 10 TOPS/W power efficiency, an exceptional ten-fold improvement over earlier models. Also, pruning technology employed in the DRP-AI3 accelerator greatly improves AI computing efficiency, boosting AI inference performance up to 80 TOPS. This performance boost allows engineers to process vision AI applications directly at edge AI devices without relying on cloud computing platforms.

The device includes four Arm Cortex-A55 CPU cores with a maximum operating frequency of 1.8GHz for Linux application processing, two Cortex-R8 cores running at 800MHz for high-performance real-time processing, and one Cortex-M33 as a sub-core. By combining these cores into a single chip, the device can effectively manage vision AI and real-time control tasks, making it excellent for demanding robotics applications of the future. Since the device consumes less power, it removes the necessity for cooling fans and other heat-dissipating components. This means engineers can design systems that are smaller in size, less expensive, and more reliable.

"As a market leader in motor control microprocessors, Renesas is ready to take on the next challenge to drive the advancement of the robotics market with AI technology," said Daryl Khoo, vice president of the Embedded Processing 1st Division at Renesas. "The RZ/V2H will facilitate the development of next-generation autonomous robots with vision AI capabilities, that have the ability to think independently and control movements in real time."

The company has applied its proprietary DRP technology to develop the OpenCV Accelerator that speeds up the processing of OpenCV, an open-source industry standard library for computer vision processing. The resulting speed improvement is up to 16 times faster than CPU processing. The DRP-AI3 and the OpenCV Accelerator combination improves AI computing and image processing algorithms, allowing the power-efficient, real-time execution of Visual SLAM in applications such as robot vacuum cleaners.

To accelerate development, the company also released AI Applications, a library of pre-trained models for various use cases, and the AI SDK for rapid development of AI applications. By running these software on the device's evaluation board, engineers can evaluate AI applications effortlessly and earlier in the design process, even if they do not have extensive knowledge of AI.

"We are thrilled to be part of the launch of the RZ/V2H, which combines AI technology with real-time control," says Rolf Segger, founder of SEGGER Microcontroller GmbH. "SEGGER's J-Link debug probe, widely adopted by numerous embedded development projects globally, will provide the support needed for the RZ/V2H, helping accelerate the development of next-generation robotic innovations. We look forward to this next phase in our multi-decade-long partnership with Renesas."


By Seb Springall

Seb Springall is a seasoned editor at Electropages, specialising in the product news sections. With a keen eye for the latest advancements in the tech industry, Seb curates and oversees content that highlights cutting-edge technologies and market trends.