Renesas Announces R-Mobile A1 Application Processors

Renesas has unveiled R-Mobile A1 series of application processor for personal navigation device (PND) and other portable devices.

Here’s an excerpt of the press release:

Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, and its subsidiary, Renesas Mobile Corporation, an innovative supplier of advanced cellular semiconductor solutions and platforms, today announced the R-Mobile A1 series of application processor for PND (personal navigation device) and other portable devices. The R-Mobile A1 series of devices integrate Renesas’ SH-Mobile R series and EMMA Mobile™ series, which have proven track records as application processors for PND and portable media players …

Although equipment that includes ISDB-T one-segment broadcast reception functionality has become mainstream in portable equipment such as PNDs and portable media players, there are now increasing needs for higher image quality and higher functionality due to the widespread adoption of ISDB-T full-segment terrestrial digital TV broadcasting. Furthermore, there are increasing demands for functionality such as: GUI displays to achieve improved operability; diverse and realistic 3-D graphics display for high-level human machine interfaces (HMIs); and high-performance multimedia support for video and audio. At the same time as responding to these needs, by integrating these functions in a single chip, the R-Mobile A1 devices enable reduced system costs, more compact package size and shorter development time.

You can also read the full press release.

Renesas gave four key features of the R-Mobile A1 series:

    1. Support for full HD video recording and playback and reception of high image quality, high-resolution terrestrial digital TV broadcasts
      R-Mobile A1 series processors embed both a VPU5F engine for SD video playback and recording and a VCP1 engine capable of recording and playback at 30 frames-per-second (fps), full HD video encoded in the MPEG2, MPEG4, and H.264/MPEG4 AVC standards as well as the recent Chinese AVS (playback only).This allows the R-Mobile A1 series devices to receive full-segment and one-segment broadcasts at the same time when receiving terrestrial digital TV broadcasts. The devices support ISDB-T for now but other  TV broadcast standards, including CMMB, CTTB (DTMB) and DVB-T will also be supported in the future.
    2. High-performance 3-D graphics engine
      The R-Mobile A1 series includes the PowerVR® SGX540 from Imagination Technologies which can deliver performance of up to 20 million polygons per second. It also supports OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenGL ES 1.1, and Open VG 1.1.
    3. ARM Cortex-A9 and SH-4A as the media engine allows support for several operating systems.
      The R-Mobile A1 devices incorporate both the SH-4A and ARM Cortex-A9 cores operating at up to 800 MHz and achieving up to 3.7 GIPS (giga instructions per second). Devices based on R-Mobile A1 will support Linux, Android, Windows Embedded Compact 7.0 and Windows Embedded Automotive 7.0 operating systems. The built-in SH-4A core allows real-time control of large amounts of data in applications such as digital terrestrial TV (DTT).
    4. Built-in DDR3 controller and extensive set of peripheral functions for significant reductions in total system costs.
      The R-Mobile A1 devices incorporate a 32-bit bus, a 400-MHz DDR3 (DDR800) controller and offers high-performance, low-cost memory. The devices also include USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and HDMI display controller functions as well as several other peripheral functions in order to reduce the overall system costs.R-Mobile A1S is a pin-to-pin compatible version without GPU and targeted at embedded equipment such as mobile terrestrial digital receivers, set top boxes (STBs), and full-HD video IP network cameras.Renesas also plans to release an higher performance chip with 1 GHz CPU (ARM Cortex-A9) and a built-in LPDDR2 (DDR800) controller for mobile terminals.

See the full specifications below:

Product name R-Mobile A1
R-Mobile A1
R-Mobile A1S
Operating temperature range – 20 to 70 ℃ – 40 to 85 ℃
CPU core
(Max. processing performance)
  • ARM®Cortex™-A9 (800 MHz)
  • L1 Cache: I-Cache 32 Kbytes, D-Cache: 32 Kbytes
  • L2 Cache: Unified Cache 256 Kbytes
  • SH4A (600 MHz)
  • L1 Cache: I-Cache 32 Kbytes, D-Cache: 32 Kbytes
(SIMD instruction set)
  • 1320 DMIPS (Effective), 4200 MFLOPS
External memory
  • DDR3-SDRAM (DDR800) (Max: 1 Gbyte)
  • Maximum Performance: 400 MHz
  • Data Bus: 32-bit
External bus
  • Async Bus
  • Maximum Performance: 100 MHz
  • BUS: 8/16/32-bit
Main on-chip peripheral functions
  • POWERVR SGx540 (3DG)
  • RENESAS Original Graphic Processor (2DG)
  • 24-bit DigitalOutput RGB, BT656 Output
  • NTSC/PAL Output
  • NTSC/PAL Output
  • D2 Output
  • HDMI Controller (PHY)
  • Video I/O (camera module direct connection interface)
  • Video image processing functions (color conversion, image enlargement/reduction, filtering)
  • Image blending function
  • VCP1 (Video Engine)
    1920 x 1080 x 30 fps
    Encoder: MPEG2, H.264/AVC, MPEG-4, H.263
    Decorder: MPEG2, H.264/AVC, MPEG-4, H.263, VC-1, AVS
  • VPU5F (Video Engine)
    960 x 540 x 30 fps
    Encoder: H.264/AVC, MPEG-4
    Decoder: H.264/AVC, MPEG-4, VC-1
  • JPEG encoder, decoder
  • Contrast compensation Function, Color conversion function
  • Sound processing unit (24-bit dedicated audio DSP)
  • SD Hostinterface x 3 ch
  • MMC4.4-compliant NAND interface
  • USB2.0 Host controller x 2 channels/USB2.0 Function controller x 1 ch (with high-speed mode support)
  • Gigabit Ethernet MAC (10/100/1000 Mbps)x 1 ch
  • ATAPI interface x 1 ch
  • TS interface x 2 ch
  • SIM Card Interface x 1 ch
  • Asynchronous/clock synchronous serial interface (SCIFA) x 8 ch
  • Asynchronous/clock synchronous serial interface (SCIFB) x 1 ch
  • SPI interface x 1 ch
  • I²C Bus interface x 2 channels
  • DMA Controller x 30 ch
  • 32-bit timer unit x 6 channels
  • Interrupt Controller (INTC)
  • Realtime clock x 1 channel (PLL)
  • on-chip debug function
(low-power) modes
  • Module Standby mode
  • Sleep mode
  • Core standby mode
Package 505-pin BGA
(17 mm x 17 mm, 0.65 mm pitch)
480-pin BGA
(23 mm x 23 mm, 0.8 mm pitch)

Samples of the R-Mobile A1 and A1S series are available now, priced respectively at 60 USD and 48 USD per unit. Mass production is scheduled to begin in March 2012 and is expected to reach a combined volume of 500,000 units per month in 2013.

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