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SMARC module and dev kit run Linux on dual-core Renesas SoC

Jun 2, 2017 — by Eric Brown 727 views

Mistral’s “RZ/G1E SMARC” module runs Yocto Linux on the 1GHz, dual -A7 Renesas RZ-G1E SoC with 4GB eMMC, Fast and Gigabit Ethernet, and an optional dev kit.

Mistral’s RZ/G1E SMARC module follows iWave’s iW-RainboW-G20M-Qseven in tapping the Renesas RZ/G1 SoC, but in this case it’s the 1GHz, dual-core Cortex-A7 RZ/G1E instead of the 1.5GHz dual Cortex-A15 RZG1M and RZ/G1N. The RZ/G1E has a PowerVR SGX540 GPU.

RZ/G1E SMARC (left) and its SMARC Dev Kit carrier board
(click images to enlarge)

Mistral’s 82 x 50 x 1.2mm, SMARC short form factor, module ships with a Linux 3.10 BSP with Yocto Project drivers, SPI-loader, and U-Boot. The RZ/G1E SMARC supports applications including industrial HMI, intelligent cameras, IoT gateways, embedded vision, industrial controllers, and V2X infrastructure. A SMARC Dev Kit is also available (see farther below).

The RZ/G1E SMARC is equipped with 1GB DDR3, 4GB eMMC, and 8MB SPI flash for booting. The module provides HDMI and Parallel LCD display interfaces, backed up by an H.264 codec. You also get dual-lane MIPI-CSI and 8-bit video camera interfaces. The module is notable for offering both 10/100Mbps and 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet controllers.


The RZ/G1E SMARC’s 314-pin MXM3 interface supports 2x USB, 2x SD, 2x CAN, and 2x SPI, as well as 4x UART, 4x I2C, 4x PWM, and 7x GPIO. An SSI audio connection is available along with JTAG and UART debug interfaces. The 5V module ships with a PMIC.


The optional SMARC Dev Kit features a 160 x 110mm carrier board with a microSD slot, Fast and Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 2x USB ports. Other features include dual audio jacks, an HDMI port, and a touch-ready LCD interface that supports an optional, 7-inch LXD LXD-M7645A LCD module. Interfaces are available for the CSI and Parallel camera inputs, and there’s also an RCA jack for analog video input.

(click image to enlarge)

Dual terminal block connectors are provided for CAN, and there’s an expansion connector with 2x I2C, 2x SPI, 3x PWM, 7x GPIO, and a UART. An SDIO connector supports an optional WiFi and Bluetooth module, and a PMOD connector can support an external BLE module. A serial-over-USB port is available for debugging. Mistral also offers development services

“The RZ/G1E-based SMARC Module offers a small and versatile embedded design building block that allows customers working with our RZ/G1E MPUs to reduce manufacturing complexities and speed their time to market,” stated said Vin D’Agostino, VP, General Purpose Products Unit, Renesas Electronics America Inc.

Further information

The RZ/G1E SMARC module and SMARC Dev Kit are available now with prices undisclosed. More information may be found on Mistral’s RZ/G1E SMARC and SMARC Dev Kit product pages.


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