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SoC suits high-performance car navigation systems

Posted: 01 Jun 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:car navigation SoCs? GPS? car navigation system? DDR2 SDRAM?

SuperH family SH7775 from Renesas

Renesas Technology Corp. rolled out the SuperH family SH7775, an SoC solution designed for high-performance car information systems such as navigation systems.

SH7775 incorporates the SuperH family's SH-4A CPU core and is capable of high processing performance of 1GIPS or more. The SoC integrates peripheral functions required by car navigation systems, including a new graphics engine optimized for map drawing, a 3D graphics engine for high-level drawing processing and a GPS baseband processing function.

The SoC is the third-phase product in Renesas Technology's line up of car navigation SoCs, the first two were SH7770 and SH7774. From July, Renesas Technology also plans to offer a reference platform that will enable users to perform system development.

Key features
The SH-4A CPU core used in the SH7775 features a 600MHz operating frequency and high processing of over 1GIPS. The integrated floating-point processing unit (FPU) also has a maximum operating frequency of 600MHz. The FPU supports single-precision and double-precision operations and offers computational performance of up to 4.2GFLOPS in single-precision mode.

SH7775 also incorporates a graphics engine optimized for functions related to map drawing. Aside from 2D drawing functions such as bold-line drawing and anti-aliasing, it implements 3D drawing functions such as triangle 3D drawing and texture mapping. This makes it possible to render high-quality map images rapidly, a key function of car navigation systems. Different 3D objects, such as buildings and landmarks, can be rendered as part of the map imagery. A single drawing engine can handle drawing of elements essential to the display of the car navigation system, including maps, icons and menus.

To enable developers to exploit the full performance potential of the graphics engine, Renesas Technology will offer the MAPGL Graphics Software Engine. This software package has a convenient API that makes it easy to use the drawing functions supported by the graphics engine for rendering map images. It also provides a PC simulation environment that recreates the results of rendering on an actual system to support the development of new graphics apps.

To further reduce CPU load, both graphics engines also include a geometry engine that performs such tasks as vertex coordinate calculation. Drawing processing performance is up to three times that of the SH7770 predecessor due to the high operating speed of 150MHz combined with improvements to the rendering method. The result is smooth, high image quality 2D and 3D graphic display.

Peripheral functions
SH7775 also implements a rich variety of peripheral functions necessary for car information systems. The peripheral modules include a GPS baseband processing function, an ATAPI interface, a USB v2.0 host/function interface, a CAN in-vehicle LAN interface, multiple sound interfaces and multiple serial interfaces.

Moreover, the use of the Unified Memory Architecture in the device enables memory to be shared by each modules, allowing for the reduction of the number of external memory parts.

The external buses provided include a 32bit dedicated bus enabling connection to high-speed DDR2 SDRAM and a 32bit extension bus for connection to flash memory or SRAM.

An E10A-USB emulator connected to a host PC via a USB interface can be used as a development environment and the provision of an on-chip debugging function allows real-time debugging to be carried out at the maximum operating frequency.

Meanwhile, a user system development reference platform, which enables users to carry out system development, is also available. The platform offers the following includes car information system-oriented peripheral circuits, providing a user system actual device verification environment. The platform can also be used as a software development tool for application software. Moreover, it allows easy addition of custom user functions, said Renesas Technology.

Sample shipments will begin in July 2007 in Japan. The package used is a 560-pin BGA measuring 25-by-25mm.

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