Renesas’ integrated RZ/A1 MPU design environment delivers an easy transition to more complex MPU environments

By Heather Hamilton, contributing writer

Renesas
Electronics
recently released a new design environment for its RZ/A1
microprocessors, developed to streamline the development of rich human-machine
interface (HMI) and camera- and GUI-based applications. The increase in
popularity for HMI-based systems and markets in which HMI and streaming converge
prompted the need for the high-end MPU implementations that can manage the
demands of these systems, according to the company. Applications include
industrial equipment, building controls, medical devices, smart home gadgets,
white goods, video surveillance, and video/fingerprint access devices.

Transitioning
to a complex MPU environment can be challenging for designers who are accustomed to a simpler and more streamlined
MCU design environment, according to Mark Rootz, senior director of
Renesas’ Industrial Marketing Division, Industrial Solutions Business Unit. “To
help them navigate this journey, Renesas created a design environment with the
RZ/A1 Software Package, where designers can leverage the best of both worlds — combining
the elevated capabilities of MPUs with the ease of use of MCUs, which builds
confidence for making the leap to MPU-based solutions,” he said.

The
RZ/A1 software package employs many of the same characteristics as the MCU
design environment, providing for a simpler transition for designers to a more
complex MPU design environment. The high-performance
RZ/A1 MPUs provide up to 10 MB of on-chip SRAM, built-in memory
management, and an Arm Cortex-A9 core, which the company said contributes to
the simplicity and speed of the application design process.

Pre-integrated with the RZ/A1 MPUs, the
design environment allows designers to begin HMI design work right away. The RZ/A1 Software Package is fully integrated with drivers,
middleware, a real-time operating system, and sample applications for camera-GUI
display use. Additionally, it comes with a software development kit (SDK), QE for Display and QE for Camera tools, and integration with TES Guiliani GUI framework.

Renesas
recommends the design environment for IP-based video and radio streams, video
surveillance, and video/fingerprint-based access control, paired with the
Renesas RZ development
kit
for reduced development times.

The
RZ/A1 MPUs and the RZ/AI Software Package together provide a streamlined PCB
layout with quad flat packaging (QFP), easy power and clock design, and a
familiar debugging and development environment. “XIP (Execute-in-Place) Linux with QSPI flash memory allows
the RZ/A1 Series to add MCU-like boot-up times to the MPU-level performance,”
said the company.

The RZ/A1
Software Package
is
compatible with the IAR System IAR Embedded Workbench and Renesas’ e² studio Eclipse-based development
environment. The package is available pre-integrated with the RZ/A1 MPUs and is
available for use with the RZ development kit.