Renesas RZ/A3UL Cortex-A55 processor performs RTOS for HMI with fast boot times

Renesas RZ/A3UL is a single-core Cortex-A55 processor clocked up to 1 GHz designed to run FreeRTOS or Azure RTOS on high-definition (1280×800) HMI solutions requiring fast boot times such as industrial equipment, household appliances , office automation equipment, audio equipment and point of sale terminals.

The new RZ/A3UL processor family has the same peripheral functions and pin assignments as the RZ/G2UL (Arm Cortex-A55/M33) and RZ/Five (RISC-V) families targeting Linux-based HMI applications. Renesas has also designed a SMARC 2.1-compliant system-on-module (SoM) based on the Renesas RZ/A3UL microprocessor to speed time to market.

Renesas RS/A3UL specifications:

  • Processor – 1.0 GHz single-core Arm Cortex-A55 processor with 32 KB I cache with parity, 32 KB D cache with ECC, 256 KB L3 cache with ECC
  • Internal memory – 128 KB SRAM with ECC
  • Memory and storage interface
    • 16-bit DDR4-1600 or DDR3L-1333 memory interfaces with inline ECC; up to 4 GB of RAM
    • Octal Peripheral Interface (OPI) for flash or RAM devices
    • 2x SD/eMMC interfaces, SPI flash interface
  • Display Interface – Parallel RGB output for LCD up to 1280×800 resolution at 60 fps
  • Camera interface – MIPI CSI-2 up to 5MP, 30 fps
  • Networking – 2x Gigabit Ethernet MAC
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0
  • Audio – 4-channel serial audio interface (SSI)
  • Serial – 2 CAN/CAN-FD interfaces, 5-channel serial communication interface with FIFO, 2-channel serial communication interface (SCI)
  • Analog – 2-channel 12-bit ADC, thermal sensor
  • I/O – 4x I2C, 3x Renesas SPI, GPIO interfaces
  • Timers – Watchdog timer, 3x 32-bit general timers, 9-channel multi-function timer pulse unit (x8 16-bit, 1x 32-bit)
  • Security – 1Kbit OTP Memory, Secure Boot, Encryption Engine, Secure JTAG
  • Supply voltage – 2.97 to 3.63 V
  • Enclosure – 13 x 13 mm 361 pin BGA package compatible with RZ/G2UL family
  • Temperature difference
    • Ambient: -40° to 85°C (a wider range can be considered)
    • Junction: -40° to 125°C

Differences RZ/G2UL vs RZ/A3UL vs RZ/five pin

While the company claims that the RZ/A3UL is pin-compatible with RZ/G2UL and RZ/Five, there are a few small differences including only the TZ/A3UL having an Octal SPI interface, and the DDR3L SDRAM interface/ 4 being optional. , which makes sense since the chip is meant to run an RTOS and in some cases the 128 KB onboard SRAM and Octal SPI may suffice. It should be noted that the DDR3L/DDR4 memory interface achieves about 10 times faster data transfer speed than the Octal SPI memory interface, so for higher resolution displays there is probably no way to move without DDR3L/DDR4.

On the software side, the Renesas RZ/A3UL supports both FreeRTOS and Azure RTOS, and in the case of the latter, Renesas is a license provider of Azure RTOS for the RZ family, so users can simply download Azure RTOS at from GitHub and get started immediately. The company also offers a flexible software package including FreeRTOS and HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) drivers, and an “extensive middleware suite” is also featured for both operating systems.

Renesas RZ/A3UL SMARC 2.1 SOM
RZ/A3UL SoM Block Diagram

As mentioned in the introduction, Renesas has also designed a SMARC 2.1 SoM compatible with the US222 carrier board for the development of human-machine interfaces (HMIs), embedded vision applications, barcode readers and gateways. industrial.

Renesas says the RZ/A3UL Cortex-A55 microprocessors and development tools are available now, but the only part I could find in stock is the R9A07G063U01GBG#AC0 without a DDR interface. Chip1Stop (Japan) sells the coin for $10.8 for one coin and $8.05 for 10 or more coins. Renesas did not provide volume pricing guidelines. Additional information can be found on the product page.

Thanks to TLS for the advice.