Renesas MCU for Auto Instrument Clusters Has HUD Warp

By Norbert Hildebrand
iRenesas mg rh850d1m block diagram

Renesas Electronics has announced a new set of microcontrollers (MCU) aimed at the automotive market. The new controllers are based on a 32 bit processor unit including memory ranging from 2 MB to 5 MB depending on the MCU model. There is a range of models to accommodate different levels of performances, however there are two basic model lines running at either 120 MHz or 240 MHz in the higher end line. The lower end line comes in a 176 pin package (RH850/D1Lx), while the higher end line comes in a 484 pin package (RH850/D1Mx) .

The following illustration shows the block diagram of the higher end product.

Renesas claims that the new MCU will provide:

  • Reduced BOM cost; the MCU contains an included RAM of up to 5 MB and a highly efficient graphic library that allows the use of less RAM. It also allows the chip to drive a high-definition LCD display without external high-speed DRAMs.
  • Scalable and Intelligent Development: the MCU contains 22 products in seven groups that offer cost and performance options. It also includes software tools to speed up the development cycle and lower cost.
  • Support for Head Up Displays: the new higher end chip also includes support for HUDs as a new form of video output in newer car models. This does also include a warp engine to fit any arbitrary shape without frame delay. This allows for any windshield shape to be programmed into the system.
  • Functional Safety: the chip also includes functions for detecting system malfunctions and monitoring functions that monitor and verify, at all times, that important information, such as warnings and the gear position, is being informed correctly, to ensure safety.

The new MCUs are available for sampling only at the moment with mass production aiming to start in April 2016. The company expects to reach a capacity level of 4 million units per month by April 2018. This is quite an impressive number considering that the global production of light vehicles is expected to reach 90 million to 100 million by 2018. The Renesas capacity would be able to address half of the light vehicle market. – NH