Renesas’s new MPU enables real-time, low power artificial intelligence (AI) in embedded systems
Renesas has developed the new RZ/A2M microprocessor (MPU) that makes it possible to incorporate AI in endpoint embedded equipment. The new solution allows applications incorporating embedded devices–such as smart appliances, service robots, and compact industrial machinery–to carry out image recognition employing cameras and other AI functions while maintaining low power consumption, and accelerating the realization of intelligent endpoints.
New MPU offers 10x image processing of RZ/A1
The new MPU claims 10 times the image processing performance of its predecessor, the RZ/A1. Renesas notes it is based on Renesas’ exclusive Dynamically Reconfigurable Processor (“DRP”), which achieves real-time image processing at low power consumption.
Currently, there are several challenges to using AI in the operational technology (OT) field, such as difficulty transferring large amounts of sensor data to the cloud for processing, and delays waiting for AI judgments to be transferred back from the cloud.
Renesas claims that the new RZ/A2M with DRP makes possible image-based AI functionality requiring larger volumes of data and more powerful processing performance than achievable with waveform measurement and analysis.
Since real-time image processing can be accomplished while consuming very little power, battery-powered devices can perform tasks such as real-time image recognition based on camera input, biometric authentication using fingerprints or iris scans, and high-speed scanning by handheld scanners.
“The adoption of e-AI will bring incalculable advances in convenience, safety, and production efficiency,” said Yoshikazu Yokota, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Industrial Solution Business Unit at Renesas. “We have successfully improved production yields at our own factories through the use of e-AI, proving the usefulness of AI for endpoints. We will continue expanding the scope of e-AI applications from simple attributes such as colors, shapes, and waveforms to complex image processing in real time. Renesas will also offer e-AI solutions that anyone can use, and lead the way in bringing intelligence to endpoints.”
Main Features of the New RZ/A2M with DRP
The RZ/A2M with DRP is a new addition to the RZ/A Series lineup of MPUs equipped with large capacity on-chip RAM, which eliminates the need for external DRAM.
The RZ/A Series MPUs address applications employing human-machine interface (HMI) functionality, and the RZ/A2M adds to this capability with features ideal for applications using cameras. It supports the MIPI camera interface, widely used in mobile devices, and is equipped with a DRP for high-speed image processing.
To enable safe and secure network connectivity, Renesas has added a two-channel Ethernet with an on-chip hardware encryption accelerator.
Samples of the RZ/A2M with DRP are available now. The RZ/A2M MPUs are offered with a development board, reference software, and DRP image-processing library, allowing customers to begin evaluating HMI function and image processing performance.
Mass production is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2019. For more information, click here.