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32bit MCUs enhance audio, graphics in dashboards

Posted: 19 May 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:32bit microcontrollers? synchronous DRAM? multicore?

Renesas Technology Corp. has announced eight new product versions of the SH7262 and SH7264 32bit MCUs with 1Mbyte on-chip SRAM for digital audio and graphical dashboard applications.

Part of the SuperH Family of 32bit RISC MCU/microprocessor, the SH7262 and SH7264 belong to the SH7260 Series of MCUs for digital audio applications. A full 1Mbyte of SRAM, which can be used in place of external synchronous DRAM (SDRAM), is integrated on-chip. This makes it possible to provide more powerful graphics functions for graphical dashboard systems or TV display functions in midrange and low-end products largely using a single chip. A full complement of peripheral functions is provided within specifications designed to keep costs down for a high cost-to-performance ratio. The maximum operating frequency of 144MHz enables faster operation in applications such as equipment control or digital audio signal processing.

Product details
The SH7262 and SH7264 are built around the SH2A-FPU CPU core (which incorporates an FPU), have a maximum operating frequency of 144MHz, and deliver excellent processing performance. The instruction set of the SH2A-FPU is backward compatible with the SH-2A and SH-2 CPU cores, allowing developers to reuse program code created for earlier products. In addition, ROM code efficiency has been improved approximately 75 percent in comparison with the SH-2. Hence, the object code for the same program can be compressed to about three-quarters the previous size, conserving the memory capacity available for storing programs.

This combination of excellent signal processing performance and ROM code efficiency means that compression and decompression of audio data in formats required by digital audio applications, such as MP3, WMA or AAC (Advanced Audio Coding), is performed more quickly and program sizes are reduced. Thanks to the newly added large-capacity SRAM, not only processing tasks related to equipment control and digital audio, but also video display capabilities can be implemented on a single chip. This reduces the total number of devices required and helps lower both the cost and the power consumption of the system.

The devices also offer different peripheral functions. In addition to NOR flash memory, the SH7262 and SH7264 allow connection of other external flash memory types such as NAND flash memory and serial flash memory. The device can be booted from a program read in from the external flash memory. These MCUs are thus excellent solutions for systems employing many different types of flash memory.

Also implemented on-chip are a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed specification host/function interface and a new video display controller supporting graphical and video display capabilities. When combined with video input functionality, it enables the development of a digital audio system that allows connection with a USB device, such as USB flash memory or a portable audio player, and uses high-speed data transfer to perform video and audio playback. The video display controller can also be used to display menus on the LCD panel of an AV component.

Like the earlier SH7263, the SH7262 and SH7264 integrate an audio CD-ROM decoder, a serial sound interface (SSI) for input and output of digital audio data, a serial communication interface with 16-stage FIFO, an SD Memory Card interface, and an I?C interface. Additional functions required by digital audio systems include a Renesas SPDIF interface and a sampling rate converter to change the sampling frequency for audio data.

This ample array of on-chip functions makes it possible to build a system largely using a single chip. A high level of functionality can be achieved while reducing the total number of devices used and the cost of the system.

Product versions
The SH7262 and SH7264 are each available in four product versions with different combinations of CAN interface and IEBus interface availability, for a total of eight product versions. In addition, each product version is available with an operating temperature range of either -40C to 85C or -20C to 85C, resulting in a total lineup of 16 product numbers. Customers can select the product version that best meets their requirements.

The SH7262 comes in a 176-pin QFP package and the SH7264 in a Pb-free 208-pin QFP package. Both have an on-chip debugging function that enables real-time debugging at the maximum operating frequency. The E10A-USB emulator, which uses USB bus power and requires no external power supply, is available as a development environment. Renesas Technology supplies middleware with support for digital audio compression standards such as MP3, WMA and AAC, and it is possible to build a system with multi-codec compatibility. There is also software that supports the ISO 9660 file system used by CD-ROMs and the FAT32 file system used by HDDs. These software solutions are intended to facilitate the development of digital audio products.

Sample shipments will begin in August in Japan.

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