Chip Brings Advanced 3D Graphics in Automotive Instrument Clusters

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Renesas’ new automotive R-Car E3 System-On-Chip (SoC) brings enhanced 3D graphics rendering performance to large-scale digital instrument clusters

To address the increasing demand for large-scale digital instrument clusters among all class of vehicles, Renesas has extended the scalable range of the R-Car family of system-on-chip (SoC) devices.

The new R-Car E3 claims to realize high-end 3D graphics on the largest class of displays used for automotive instrument clusters – 12.3 inches, 1,920 x 720 pixels.

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The single-chip SoC supports instrument clusters as well as in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems with display audio and other capabilities.

New R-Car E3 Automotive SoC for High-end 3D Graphics in Instrument Clusters

The R-Car E3 is an up cale to the predecessor R-Car D3 SoC for 3D graphics clusters, that brings enhanced 3D graphics rendering performance. The new SoC also offers the functional safety and security functions that are essential for connected cars as the role of human-machine interface (HMI) becomes more important.

“With these features, the R-Car E3 simplifies the task of developing robust systems capable of dealing safely with both malfunctions and cyberattacks”, according to Renesas.

The single-chip design enables the integration of a variety of systems, significantly reducing overall system development costs and achieving substantial space savings.

The R-Car E3 shares the scalability of the R-Car H3 and R-Car M3 for integrated cockpits as well as the R-Car D3 for instrument clusters, establishing a high level of software reuse.

Renesas partner companies with extensive experience in the instrument cluster field are ready to provide operating systems (OS) and HMI tools in addition to system integration support. Renesas said this will greatly reduce the development burden, extending software support to a wide range of vehicles, from the premium class, which currently features the high-end 3D graphics experience, to entry-class vehicles where integrated systems and full graphics are expected to become mainstream.

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“Stringent safety and security requirements are driving the demand for instrument clusters with increasingly rich graphics capabilities to accurately display larger amounts of information to the driver,” said William Asburry, Manager, Electrical Engineering, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). “The ability to present this information in 3D and 2D using high-resolution graphics has become essential for future cluster implementations, and the scalability of Renesas R-Car SoCs with their software assets contributes greatly to implementing the required features and optimizing our development efforts.”

“Graphics cluster systems are extremely important to accurately and reliably convey instrument and IVI information to the driver,” said Ryoichi Nishikawa, General Manager, Cockpit Systems Division, Denso Corporation. “In the future, as the graphics used in these systems become richer, Renesas’ R-Car products will not only allow carmakers to meet drivers’ informational needs but also will also deliver unmatched development efficiency by enabling full utilization of software resources across a wide range of vehicle categories.”

“Full graphic instrument clusters capable of displaying appropriate information to the driver precisely when it is needed will become the industry’s de facto standard as self-driving capabilities and ADAS functionality advance,” said Keiichi Nagano, Executive Manager for Development at Nippon Seiki Co., Ltd. “This will require high-performance graphic engines with sophisticated graphic rendering functionality as well as cybersecurity and functional safety. Renesas’ R-Car E3 perfectly meets these new needs and facilitates development next-generation cockpit systems.”

Availability

Samples of the R-Car E3 SoC are available now, priced at US$60 per unit. Mass production is scheduled to begin in December 2019, and monthly production volume is anticipated to reach a combined 100,000 units by December 2020.

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For more information on Renesas instrument cluster–related products, click here.

For the main specifications of the new product, click here.

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