Japanese semiconductor vendors have mostly stayed away from the maker market, at least outside Japan, as most people would be hard-pressed to come up with a hobbyist development board powered by processor or micro-controller from Toshiba, Sony, Renesas or other Japanese companies, despite the three aforementioned names being in the top 20 semiconductors companies. I can only remember having written about Fujitsu F-Cue 96Boards, as well as Renesas GR-PEACH mbed board since I started this blog 7 years ago. Renesas seems to be the only company to have a real community behind with their “Gadget Renesas” pink-colored development boards, and the latest and seventh board is GR-LYCHEE powered by Renesas RZ/A1LU ARM Cortex-A9 processor, and equipped with a WiFi & Bluetooth module, and a camera.
Renesas GR-LYCHEE board preliminary specifications:
- Micro-processor – Renesas RZ / A1LU (R7S721030VCFP 176-pin QFP) ARM Cortex-A9 Processor @ 384 MHz with 3MB on-chip SRAM
- Storage – 8 MB flash+ micro SD card
- Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE via ESP32 wireless module
- Audio – 3.5mm audio jack (heaphone + mic)
- USB – 1x USB host port
- Camera – 1x camera interface for VGA (640×480) camera
- Expansion – Arduino UNO headers
- Debugging & Programming – 1x micro USB port, JTAG interface
- Misc – 32.768 Hz RTC clock, 2x user buttons, reset button, 4x user LEDs
- Power Supply – 5V via 1x micro USB port; operating voltage: 3.3 V / 1.18 V
The board is mbed compatible so at launch you’ll be able to use the mbed compiler with the board. The board is still in beta version, documentation is still being worked on, and launch is scheduled for the end of November 2017. While most Gadget Renesas’ users are likely in Japan, Renesas also organized events in India, ASEAN, and Oceania with GR-PEACH board earlier this year as you’ll find out by visiting the community’s English page.
Documentation and more details about GR-LYCHEE board should eventually surface in the product page (in Japanese only for now).