Roadmap For Next Generation Automotive Semiconductors

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Enhanced upcoming product lineup to feature R-Car SoCs integrated with cutting-edge in-package chiplet integration technology and arm-based automotive MCUs

Renesas Electronics Corporation has unveiled its comprehensive plans for the next generation of system-on-chips (SoCs) and microcontrollers (MCUs) poised to revolutionise the automotive digital landscape. The company has taken a giant leap forward by offering a sneak peek into its fifth-generation R-Car SoC, designed for high-performance applications, featuring in-package chiplet integration technology. This innovation grants automotive engineers unprecedented flexibility to tailor their designs to specific requirements. For instance, in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), engineers can seamlessly integrate AI accelerators into a single chip to bolster AI performance.

In addition to the SoC, the company is set to introduce two MCU advancements in the next-generation R-Car family. The first is a new crossover MCU series meticulously engineered to meet the demanding performance criteria of domain and zone electronic control units (ECUs) in next-gen automotive electronic/electrical (E/E) architectures. These MCUs are expected to bridge the performance gap between traditional MCUs and advanced R-Car SoCs. Furthermore, it plans to roll out a dedicated MCU platform tailored to the vehicle control market. Both MCUs will harness Arm architectures and seamlessly integrate into the renowned R-Car family, offering scalable options and software reusability for automotive professionals.

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As part of its forward-looking roadmap, the company is committed to providing a virtual software development environment that aligns with the automotive industry’s shift-left approach. These state-of-the-art software tools empower customers to design and test software at earlier stages in the development process, ushering in unprecedented efficiency. The company mentions that the roadmap culminates years of collaboration and discussions with Tier 1 and OEM customers. Their customers have emphasised the need to accelerate development without compromising quality, demanding the ability to design and verify software before hardware is available. They are fully committed to helping them achieve this goal by investing in shift-left and software-first innovations, introducing new scalable embedded processors, and enhancing our extensive network of development tools.

Fifth-Generation R-Car SoC Platform

Unlike its predecessors, which catered to specific use cases, the fifth-generation R-Car SoC will incorporate chiplet technology, creating a flexible platform that can be customised to meet diverse requirements for each use case. This platform will offer multiple processor sets, from entry-level to higher-end models, and enable the integration of various IP components, including AI accelerators and partner/customer IP, into a single package, empowering users to design according to their unique needs.

Two New Arm-based MCU Platforms for Vehicle Control Applications

As automotive E/E architecture evolves, the company is addressing the demand for high computing performance and real-time processing by developing a 32-bit crossover R-Car MCU platform powered by Arm architecture, featuring built-in Non-Volatile Memory (NVM). It is expanding its vehicle control portfolio with a new R-Car MCU series also utilizing Arm architecture, enabling automotive system developers to leverage the vast ecosystem of Arm for powertrain, body control, chassis, and instrument cluster systems. This expansion will standardize IP between MCUs and SoCs, enhancing software usability and protecting engineering investments.

Software Development Environment

In recognition of the growing size and complexity of automotive software, the company is pioneering a virtual development environment for application software, offering advanced debugging and evaluation tools to analyze and assess software performance. These tools will be available for next-gen processors from the first quarter of 2024, enabling developers to accelerate their software development efforts, even before prototypes of the next-generation devices become available, thereby expediting product launches to market.

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