Third generation of Renesas’s R-Car SoC targets autonomous driving

December 02, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Once again increased computing and graphics power as well as a specific engine dedicated to image recognition: The latest iteration of Renesas’ R-Car automotive System-on-Chip (SoC) will enable designers to create computing platforms that handle most of the tasks associated to advanced driver assistance systems and even autonomous driving.

The latest R-Car generation brings the right mixture of features to achieve the challenging tasks required to enable cars to drive by themselves: More computing power than ever in this product family, cognitive computing capabilities, high-bandwidth connectivity, a parallel programmable engine offering advanced image recognition technology that offloads the CPU – and all this in compliance with the ISO 26262 functional safety standard.

The first variant of the new R-Car generation bears the name H3, is built around ARM’s 64-bit engine Cortex-A57/A53 and runs at a speed of 40.000 Dhrystone MIPS. For smooth 3D graphics the system has the PowerVR GX6650 graphics engine on board which is based on an architecture from Imagination Technologies and delivers almost three times the shader calculation performance of Renesas’ predecessor model R-Car H2.

The on-chip IMP-X5 parallel programmable engine offers advanced image recognition technology in addition to the CPU and GPU. Exclusive to Renesas, the IMP-X5 recognition engine is optimized for interoperation with the CPU. It delivers four times the recognition performance of the earlier IMP-X4 image recognition engine, embedded in the second-generation R-Car family.

What’s more, the R-Car H3 is the first automotive SoC in the world to adopt the 16nm process. By realizing this high performance as well as compliance with the ISO26262 (ASIL-B) standard for automotive functional safety, the R-Car H3 can be used as an automotive computing platform that supports a wide range of applications, including advanced driving safety support systems and in-vehicle infotainment systems.

To support infotainment applications, in particular rear-seat video infotainment, Renesas has optimised the internal bus architecture of the SoC. As a result, the H3 offers four times the memory bandwidth of the H2, enabling the successor to run multiple applications concurrently. For video infotainment tasks, the system has a proprietary new video codec engine that supports new video compression formats and achieves twice the video playback performance of the H2. The R-Car H3 also incorporates