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Electronics Production | July 26, 2006

Renesas to launch World's first on-chip image recognition processing IP

Renesas Technology Europe has introduced the SuperH family SH7774 SoC for high-performance in-vehicle information terminals such as next-generation car navigation devices.
It combines the world's first image recognition processing function in a car navigation SoC, high-speed 600 MHz operation, and a comprehensive range of on-chip peripheral modules including a 2D graphics engine for map drawing, an audio encoder, and an Ethernet interface.

The recent trend in 2D graphics map display - the main function of a car navigation system - is towards greater speed and versatility, including clearer and more realistic displays. At the same time, the functions of a car navigation centred in-vehicle information terminal are rapidly becoming more diverse, including real-time acquisition of various kinds of information via a mobile phone, reception of terrestrial digital broadcasting, and recreational music and video playback, in addition to the basic car navigation function.

Simultaneously, the automobile industry is focusing on the implementation of safe-driving support systems, such as systems for controlling the distance between vehicles and to help drivers keep in lane. One kind of system for which there is a growing demand features image recognition technology, with images of white lines on the road, the vehicle ahead, and so forth, being captured by camera installed in the vehicle.

The SH7774 incorporates image recognition processing IP introduced by Hitachi, Ltd. This IP is dedicated hardware that performs image processing necessary for recognising the driving environment based on the image data taken by an in-vehicle camera, and is capable of executing a number of external environment recognition programs simultaneously and in real time, such as programs for lane recognition, or detecting and following a vehicle ahead. This function makes it possible to implement features for improving driving safety, and to create in-vehicle information terminal systems offering higher added value.

Renesas' SH7774 has a maximum operating frequency 50% higher than that of the current SH7770. As with the SH7770, the SH7774 incorporates the SuperH family's top-end SH-4A CPU core, and achieves high processing performance of over 1 GIPS at a maximum operating frequency of 600MHz. An FPU (Floating-point Processing Unit) operating at the same maximum frequency is also provided. The FPU supports single-precision and double–precision operations, and offers computational performance of up to 4.2 GFLOPS in single-precision mode. The high processing power of the CPU core and FPU enables high-performance systems to be created.
With a high operating speed of 300 MHz, the drawing processing performance of the SH7774 is up to a maximum of three times higher compared to the current SH7770, enabling smooth, high-image-quality 2D graphic display operations to be implemented.

As well as image recognition processing functions, the SH7774 features a comprehensive and versatile set of peripheral modules such as various sound interfaces, including an audio encoder, an ATAPI interface, an Ethernet interface (10/100 Base), a CAN in-vehicle LAN interface, and various kinds of serial interfaces. Aimed at next-generation in-vehicle information terminals, these modules enable the main functions of a system to be implemented in a single chip, making it possible to cut down on the number of component parts and create a high-performance system at lower cost.

As well as in-vehicle information terminals and car navigation systems, the SH7774 can be used in camera application areas. The package used is a 554-pin BGA (29mm ? 29mm) and sample shipments will begin on July 31, 2006.

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