Renesas releases R-Car D1 chip for automotive 3D graphics
Issue Date: 2016-03-07

Renesas Electronics has announced the availability of the R-Car D1 Series, as the first member of system-on-chips (SoCs) in the R-Car Family specialized for 3D instrument cluster systems. Renesas is introducing the new series to provide a smooth migration path for automotive system manufacturers as more automotive systems are expected to shift to 3D graphics instrument cluster systems in the near future.

As the use of color LCD panels in instrument cluster systems becomes more widespread, gauge control and graphics display are being combined even in smaller and medium size cars. The trend towards "gauge-less" displays is already progressing in high-end cars, where visibility and comfort are desired, and attractive, easy to see displays using 3D graphics on large, high-resolution panels are seen as one aspect of a car's individuality. In the future, display size and resolution are expected to continue increasing, even in the graphics displays used in low- to mid-end cars, along with the use of cluster systems that provide 3D graphics similar to that used in high-end cars.

However, for these systems to become more mainstream the ability to realize rich reality image display that makes full use of 3D graphics, the ability to display the cluster screen rapidly at the same time as the start-up of accessories, the ability to realize high reliability that can prevent unauthorized access from the outside to the system to continuously convey accurate information of the instruments to the driver, and the ability to enhance the performance of the many electronic equipment units and communications systems used in the car will all be required.

The R-Car D1 provides both the functionality and the performance to overcome these issues and furthermore, since Renesas users can take advantage of the R-Car Consortium ecosystem that consists of over 170 companies, they will be able to develop 3D graphics cluster systems quickly. Renesas will promote the more widespread use of 3D graphics.

The Renesas R-Car Family of SoCs implements high-functionality human machine interfaces (HMI) for high-end automotive cockpit systems. Renesas also offers gauge control support through its RH850/D1x microcontrollers (MCUs) that are also ideal for entry-level and mid-range automotive systems.

Key features of the R-Car D1 Series:

(1) 3D graphics cluster systems can be developed easily by cooperating with Renesas partners

(2) Enables rapid startup for instrument cluster systems

(3) Driver safety protection and car hacking prevention by the provision of functional safety and security solutions

(4) Superlative system flexibility and ease of design made possible by the R-Car D1 supporting a wide range of communication and network types

(5) Development assets from the 2D graphics cluster RH850/D1x can be applied

Since instrument cluster systems may cause serious accidents should they malfunction, it is desired that, to provide the driver with correct information, these systems continuously monitor whether or not correct information is being output and, should a malfunction occur in the system, the malfunction needs to be immediately detected. To implement high-reliability systems, R-Car D1 supports the ISO 26262 standard for automotive functional safety. Renesas provides a Functional Safety Support Program to implement functionally safe systems.

Furthermore, since it is necessary to prevent hacking from outside the system to implement safe and secure systems, the RH850 32-bit MCU that includes hardware security functions can be combined with the R-Car D1. This makes it possible to construct systems that assure data robustness and prevent hacking.