Announced just about a year ago, Renesas RZ/A1 ARM Cortex A9 processor family can be used for human machine interface applications, and has the particularly to embed large amount of SRAM, especially the RZ/A1H series with 10 MB SRAM which allows the development of some applications without external RAM chip, lowering both board size and BoM cost. I’ve just come across a development kit dubbed “RZ/A1H Starter Kit”, and the just released Emtrion DIMM-RZ system-on-module both powered by Renesas RZ/A1H SoC.
The development kit includes the mainboard, a 7″ TFT LCD (Optional), a detachable Colour LCD Board Pmod Compatible,a detachable AD Adjustment Shaft, Segger J-LINK Lite debugger, various connection cables, a power supply, a Quick Start Guide, and a DVD-ROM with documentation, ARM DS-5 IDE (with 32K code limit), KPIT GNU compiler for Cortex A9, Segger debugger drivers. and sample code.
The mainboard has the following specifications:
- SoC – Renesas RZ/A1H ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 400 MHz with 2D GPU and 10MB SRAM
- System Memory – 64MB to 512 MB SDRAM
- Storage – 128MB to 1GB QSPI flash, 256MB to 2GB NAND Flash, 64MB to 512MB NOR Flash, 16KB EEPROM, SD/MMC card slot
- Video I/O – LVDS, RGB888 to LVDS for external display panel, 8- or 16-bit Digital Video Connector (MIL), 2x Channel Composite Video Input
- Audio I/O – Line IN, Line OUT, S/PDIF
- Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
- USB – 1x USB host / function, 1x USB function / host
- Other I/Os – 2x CAN, CMOS camera connector, SIM card (pads only, not fitted)
- Expansion – 2 Pmod interfaces, SSI interface header, 4x “Application” headers
- Debugging – JTAG: JLINK 20-pin ULINK2, 20-pin ETM, USB to serial interface
- Misc – 4x user LEDs, 4x Power LEDs, configuration switches, analog potentiometer
- Power – +5V by default, +12V can be set with a jumper
- Dimensions – 180x150mm
The board can be programmed without operating systems, but Segger can also provide embOS RTOS for the platform.
Some documentation can be downloaded online via Renesas Starter Kit+ for RZ/AH1 page including schematics (PDF) for the TFT board and mainboard, a user’s manual, a quick start guide, and a tutorial for ARM DS-5. There’s also supposed to be a hardware manual, but I could not find it online. A Windows installer can also be download with ARM DS-5 IDE, compiler, emulator debugger, sample code and documentation (Registration required). The development kit appears to be available now with or without the 7″ TFT LCD module, and it’s listed on Digikey for around $1,100 including the LCD module. But if you’ve working for a company, you may be able to get a free evaluation sample.
If you’ve developed your application with a development kit, and would rather have a CPU module for your end product, instead of designing the complete board, Emtrion DIMM-RZ system-on-module could be one option.
- SoC – Renesas RZ/A1H Cortex A9 processor @ 400 MHz with 10MB SRAM
- System Memory – No external RAM
- Storage – Up to 64 MB NOR Flash, 1x SD Card Interface (SDIO)
- Video Output – RGB or LVDS output up to WXGA with a 4-wire resistive touch interface, and capacitive touch in option
- Audio – SSI interface (Analog), S/PDIF In/Out
- Camera – 1x CMOS camera I/F up to WXGA or PAL/NTSC codec
- USB – USB 2.0 Host and Device
- Connectivity – 100BaseTX Ethernet
- Other I/O – 2x CAN 2.0 A/B, 1x serial Interface, 3x LVTTL, 10x GPIO, 2x SPI, 2x I²C
- Misc – RTC support (battery buffered)
- SoM Connector – 200-pin SO-DIMM
- Power Consumption – Max. 450mA @ 3.3V
- Temperature range – Commercial: 0°C to 70°C; Industrial: – 40°C to 85°C (option)
- Dimensions – 67.6 x 45 x 10 mm
The company provides Segger embOS real-time operating system with the module by default, but Linux 3.2 can also be used on request. Emtrion can also provide carrier boards, development kits and custom solutions for their SoM. DIMM-Base Cadun is the baseboard that can be used with DIMM-RZ (and other Emtrion DIMM modules). It exposes an Ethernet RJ45 connector, USB ports, HDMI, RGB and LVDS interfaces, serial ports, and various headers for expansion.
I’ll complete this post by embedding an 8-minutes video that explains the advantages of Renesas RZ/A1H compared to traditional MCU and MPU solutions for HMI applications.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.