Renesas scales SoCs for high-end instrument clusters

Renesas R-Car E3 SoC for high-end 3D graphics instrument clusters

Renesas has extended the scalable range of its system-on-chip (SoC) devices with the R-Car E3 to realise high-end 3D graphics on 31.5cm 1920 by 720 pixel displays used for automotive instrument clusters.

Combining smooth 3D rendering capabilities with integrated audio DSP and other peripheral functions, the single-chip SoC supports instrument clusters as well as in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) with display audio and other capabilities.

The E3 is an upscale to the predecessor R-Car D3 SoC for 3D graphics clusters, which brings enhanced 3D graphics rendering performance. The latest SoC also offers the functional safety and security functions that are needed for connected cars as the role of human-machine interface (HMI) becomes more important.

With these features, it should simplify the task of developing robust systems capable of dealing safely with both malfunctions and cyber attacks

The single-chip design enables the integration of various systems, reducing overall system development costs and achieving space savings. The E3 shares the scalability of the H3 and M3 for integrated cockpits as well as the D3 for instrument clusters, establishing a high level of software reuse.

Renesas partner companies with experience in the instrument cluster field are ready to provide operating systems and HMI tools in addition to system integration support. This will reduce the development burden, extending software support to a wide range of vehicles, from the premium class, which features the high-end 3D graphics experience, to entry-class vehicles where integrated systems and full graphics are expected to become mainstream.

“Stringent safety and security requirements are driving the demand for instrument clusters with increasingly rich graphics capabilities to accurately display larger amounts of information to the driver,” said William Asburry, manager of electrical engineering at Fiat Chrysler.“The ability to present this information in 3D and 2D using high-resolution graphics has become essential for future cluster implementations, and the scalability of Renesas R-Car SoCs with their software assets contributes greatly to implementing the required features and optimising our development efforts.”

Ryoichi Nishikawa, general manager of Denso’s cockpit systems division, added: “Graphics cluster systems are extremely important to accurately and reliably convey instrument and IVI information to the driver. In the future, as the graphics used in these systems become richer, Renesas’ R-Car products will not only allow car makers to meet drivers’ informational needs but also will also deliver unmatched development efficiency by enabling full utilisation of software resources across a wide range of vehicle categories.”

Renesas works with several operating system manufacturers, HMI manufacturers and system integrators who are in the instrument cluster and IVI fields. System developers can take advantage of a wide range of automotive products by working with the more than 250 Renesas R-Car Consortium partner companies to reduce the number of development steps and cost for 3D graphics in vehicles ranging from entry to premium class.

“Full graphic instrument clusters capable of displaying appropriate information to the driver precisely when it is needed will become the industry’s de facto standard as self-driving capabilities and adas functionality advance,” said Keiichi Nagano, executive manager for development at Nippon Seiki. “This will require high-performance graphic engines with sophisticated graphic rendering functionality as well as cyber security and functional safety. Renesas’ R-Car E3 perfectly meets these new needs and facilitates development of next-generation cockpit systems.”


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