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Linux-driven Cortex-A7 SoC targets 3D and HD-enabled HMI

Jun 28, 2017 — by Eric Brown — 841 views

Renesas unveiled a “RZ/G1C” SoC for HMI applications with 1x or 2x 1GHz Cortex-A7 cores and a PowerVR SGX531 GPU, plus a Linux-supported starter kit.

The RZ/G1C SoC joins other similarly Yocto Project supported Renesas RZ/G SoCs such as the dual-core RZ/G1E and RZ/G1M with 1GHz Cortex-A7 and 1.5GHz Cortex-A15 cores, respectively. There’s also an RZ/G1N that is almost identical to the RZ/G1M and an octa-core RZ/G1H with 4x Cortex-A15 and 4x -A7 cores.

RZ/G1C block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Members of the larger Renesas RZ family of SoCs include the single-core Cortex-A9 RZ/A1. The new single- or dual-core, 1GHz RZ/G1C offers a lower-power alternative to the RZ/A1 thanks to its more power efficient Cortex-A7 core.

The SoC’s old-school PowerVR SGX531 GPU is one of the lower end PowerVR models, but gives the RZ/G1C more graphics firepower than many single- or dual-core Cortex-A7 SoCs. With the help of an FHD H.264 video codec, the RZ/G1C offers both 3D graphics acceleration and HD video in a low-power profile for media-enabled HMI applications.

The RZ/G1C has 64KB L1 cache and 512KB L2, and supports 32-bit, single-channel 500MHz DDR3 SDRAM. The SoC supports dual inputs and dual video outputs, selectable between LVDS and RGB/CVBS, and features an audio interface. Both GbE and Fast Ethernet controllers are available, along with support for dual USB 2.0 ports with PHY.

The RZ/G1C supports SD storage, but unlike some RZ/G SoCs, there’s no SATA support. You get dual CAN interfaces plus 5x I2C, 6x SCIF serial, and 3x clocked serial interfaces, among other I/O.

RZ/G1E Starter Kit
(click image to enlarge)

The RZ/G1C is supported by the same starter kit used by the RZ/G1E. The 140 x 120mm board provides 1GB DDR3, 64MB and 4MB allotments of SPI flash, and 8GB eMMC. A WiFi/Bluetooth module is available, but there’s no Ethernet port.

The RZ/G1E Starter Kit has dual USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and VGA ports, an analog video in jack, and audio line-in and line-out jacks. The 5V board is further equipped with an I2C interface. It ships with a Yocto Project image and supports the OpenEmbedded build environment.

Further information

The RZ/G1C is sampling now with mass production in December. More information may be found at the Renesas RZ/G1C product page and this RZ/G1E Starter Kit page.

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