Renesas Announces SoC Device for Car Navigation Systems

Renesas Technology America, Inc. announced a new system-on-chip (SoC) solution with significant performance and capability enhancements for car navigation systems and other in-vehicle car information system products. The single-chip SH7775 32-bit processor, running at speeds up to 600MHz, achieves performance as high as 1 GIPS (giga instructions per second) and up to 4.2 GFLOPS (giga floating-point operations per second). The SuperH device incorporates a GPS baseband processing function and a newly developed graphics engine that is optimized for map drawing and 3-D images. It also provides many additional peripheral functions that are essential for next-generation in-vehicle safety and convenience systems that work better, offer more features, and cost less.

The SH7775 is the third-phase product in Renesas Technology’s lineup of car navigation SoCs, which began with the SH7770 and was expanded by the SH7774. The new device is the successor to the SH7770, offering 50% more CPU/FPU (floating point unit) performance — a necessity for meeting the rising design requirements of car information systems.

“With the addition of the SH7775, Renesas continues to deliver leading-edge products that support the sophisticated features of next-generation car navigation and information systems,” said Paul Sykes, marketing manager, automotive business unit at Renesas Technology America, Inc. “The significant performance level increase coupled with the enhanced peripheral mix enables advanced next generation systems at a reasonable cost.”

In addition to the improvements in performance and features, Renesas also focused on the increasingly important issue of system design and debug with the new device. The resulting hardware/software solution allows customers to boost their system development efficiency by making good use of existing software resources, and also helps them create new application code in minimal time.

The enhanced graphics engine built into the SH7775 adds specialized 3D drawing functions for map drawing, while retaining the bold-line drawing and other 2D functions offered by the SH7770 and SH7774 devices. Capabilities such as triangle 3D drawing and texture mapping enable more realistic location and direction displays on navigation screens. A wide variety of 3D objects, such as buildings and landmarks, can be rendered as part of the map imagery, and this single drawing engine can be used to draw icons, and menus, as well as maps. The drawing processing performance is up to three times that of the SH7770′s engine due to its 150MHz operating speed combined with an improved rendering method. The result is smooth, high-image-quality 2D and 3D graphic displays. To facilitate system development, Renesas plans to offer the MAPGL graphics software engine, which has a convenient API (Application Programming Interface) and provides a PC simulation environment. It will further improve application development efficiency by cutting development times by up to 66%. At the same time, the software will make it easier to achieve maximum performance from the SH7775′s graphics engine. The new graphics engine is compatible with the one on the previous-generation products, allowing the reuse of existing software.

The SH7775 processor also incorporates a 3D graphics engine, PowerVR(R) MBX from Imagination Technologies, Ltd. Because it uses the same engine as the predecessor device, the SH7770, the new device enables the use of existing programs, maximizing resources. Both map-drawing graphics engine and 3D graphics engine have a geometry function that allows various task executions such as vertex coordinate calculation to maximize the device’s performance.

The device’s set of on-chip peripherals encompasses the functions essential for car navigation systems and similar applications. Besides the previously mentioned GPS baseband processing module that utilizes IP licensed from SiRF Technology Holdings Inc., those peripherals include an ATAPI interface, a USB v2.0 host/function interface, and a CAN in-vehicle LAN interface. Various interfaces such as a remote control interface, timers, and more are included, too. Moreover, the SH7775 SoC device uses a unified memory architecture that allows memory to be shared by different peripherals, so less external memory is needed. There are two external buses: a 32-bit dedicated bus for connections to high-speed DDR2-SDRAM (Double-Data-Rate-2 Synchronous DRAM) and a 32-bit extension bus for connections to flash memory or SRAM.

System engineers can use an E10A-USB emulator connected to a host PC via a USB interface as a development environment. The SH7775′s on-chip debugging function allows real-time debugging to be carried out at the full 600MHz operating frequency. In addition, Renesas offers a reference platform that allows design teams to jump-start system development projects. The reference platform includes car information system oriented peripheral circuits for implementing a verification environment, readily accommodates custom user functions, and can be used as a software development tool.

Price and availability
SH7775 (P/N: R8A77750DBGV) – 560-pin BGA: $70/July 2007

About Renesas Technology Corp.
Renesas Technology Corp. is one of the world’s leading semiconductor system solutions providers for mobile, automotive and PC/AV (Audio Visual) markets and the world’s No.1 supplier of microcontrollers. It is also a leading provider of LCD Driver ICs, Smart Card microcontrollers, RF-ICs, High Power Amplifiers, Mixed Signal ICs, System-on-Chip (SoC), System-in-Package (SiP) and more. Established in 2003 as a joint venture between Hitachi, Ltd. (TOKYO:6501)(NYSE:HIT) and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO:6503), Renesas Technology achieved consolidated revenue of 953 billion JPY in FY2006 (end of March 2007). Renesas Technology is based in Tokyo, Japan and has a global network of manufacturing, design and sales operations in around 20 countries with about 26,500 employees worldwide.

SuperH(TM) is a trademark of Renesas Technology Corp. MAPGL is an abbreviation of “MAP drawing Graphics Library.” PowerVR(R) is a trademark of Imagination Technologies, Ltd., of the United Kingdom. CAN is an abbreviation of “Controller Area Network,” an automobile network specification proposed by Robert Bosch GmbH of Germany.