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SMARC module runs Linux on up to octa-core Renesas RZ/G2

Nov 16, 2020 — by Eric Brown 1,310 views

Renesas and RelySys have launched a “SMARC 2.0 SoM” module that runs Linux on a Renesas RZ/G2N (2x -A57), RZ/G2M (2x -A57, 4x -A53), or RZ/G2H (4x -A57, 4x -A53). It offers 2GB to 4GB LPDDR4, 32GB eMMC, and optional WiFi/BT.

Japanese chipmaker Renesas and Bangalore, India based manufacturing partner RelySys have launched a SMARC 2.0 SoM module that showcases Renesas’ RZ-G2 family of dual- to octa-core Cortex-A57 and -A53 SoCs. The scalable. Linux-driven module adopts the larger 82 x 80mm SMARC variant and incorporates several PMICs, clocks, and other ICs built by Renesas.

SMARC 2.0 SoM, front and back

The SMARC 2.0 SoM supports three of the four RZ/G2 models, skipping the dual-core, Cortex-A53 RZ/G2E:

  • RZ/G2N — 2x -A57 @ 1.5GHz; PowerVR GE7800 GPU
  • RZ/G2M — 2x -A57 @ 1.5GHz, 4x -A53 @ 1.2GHz; PowerVR GE6250
  • RZ/G2H — 4x -A57 @ 1.5GHz, 4x -A53 @ 1.2GHz; PowerVR GE6650

The SMARC 2.0 SoM is equipped with 4K UHD H.265 and H.264 codecs and is designed for AI IoT face/object detection, industrial and building automation HMI, image processing, surveillance cameras, inspection equipment, and embedded vision systems. This is the first product we have seen built on the RS/G2 except for two 96Boards dev kits that Renesas announced with the SoC in Feb. 2019. Other SMARC modules based on Renesas processors include Mistral’s smaller RZ/G1E SMARC, which runs Linux on the dual Cortex-A7 RZ/G1E.


The module is equipped with 2GB or 4GB LPDDR, including optional ECC RAM. You also get 512Mb SPI flash and up to 32GB of bootable eMMC.

The SMARC 2.0 SoM has a 10/100 Ethernet controller and what appears to be an optional dual-band WiFi/Bluetooth module. The module provides 1x or 2x (RZ/G2M only) PCIe interfaces and a SATA connection (RZ/G2N and RZ/G2H only).

SMARC 2.0 SoM block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Otherwise, the modules are identical. Media I/O includes HDMI, 2x MIPI-CSI, and LVDS with touch-panel and backlight control. Audio line-in and out- connections are also available.

Other interfaces include USB 3.0 host, USB 2.0 host and OTG, 2x SDIO, 2x CAN, 3x UART, and 5x U2C. There are single SPI and QSPI interfaces and multiple GPIOs.

Renesas ICs include a P8330 PMIC and an ISL1208 low-power real time clock powered by a small 400nA battery or supercapacitor. The module is further equipped with a 9FGV0641 PCIe clock with 6x 100MHz differential clock outputs and up to PCIe Gen4 support and dual VersaClock 3S programmable clocks with integrated 32.768kHz DCO, powered by a coin cell battery.

RZ/G Linux Platform with CIP integration
(click image to enlarge)

Renesas provides a Verified Linux Package (VLP), an AI software library, and a Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) Super Long-Term Support (SLTS) kernel, a feature that was highlighted in the RZ/G2 announcement. Other features include a software development environment and an optimized power and programmable timing tree.

SMARC 2.0 SoM demo board with Google Coral camera at right
(click image to enlarge)

A video posted on the product page mentions a demo system with a carrier board that does not appear to be one of the two existing 96Boards dev kits. The board offers an HDMI port, dual MIPI-CSI camera interfaces, and an LCD, among other features.

Further information

The SMARC 2.0 SoM is available now with pricing undisclosed. More information may be found in the Renesas announcement and on the Renesas and RelySys product pages.


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