MCUs target automotive instrument clusters, shape head-up display projections

February 23, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
With a feature profile aimed entry-level to mid-range cars. The RH850/D1x series integrates gauge control, graphics display and functional safety in a single chip.

The RH850/D1x Series enables scalable developments to span model ranges, and helps designers implement instrument cluster systems with highly reliable colour graphics LCDs. Its features include;

- Reduced system BOM cost: the RH850/D1x MCUs incorporate a large-capacity RAM (up to 3.5 MB) and Renesas’ high-functionality graphics engine supported by an efficient graphics library. These contribute to a reduction in the amount of RAM usage and enable high-definition LCD display without external high-speed DRAMs. By eliminating these external high-speed DRAMs, systems can be designed on low-cost, four-layer printed circuit boards. To ensure upward scalability, device variants with external DRAM interfaces are available.

- Scalable development offerings: By combining the common basic functionality, including gauge control and in-car network functions, Renesas features 22 products in seven groups that offer varieties of graphics and cost options. This rich line-up provides enhanced software reusability and scalable solutions to enable common platforms for instrument cluster systems. These scalable development offerings shorten software development times and reduce both development and maintenance costs.

- Intelligent development: By incorporating a high-functionality graphics engine, the RH850/D1x enables the creation of high-precision animations on a large display to address the requirement of mid-range cars, and also provides both the expressive power and visibility for head-up displays. With the RH850/D1x graphics engine supporting the OpenVG 1.1 standard and HMI development tools supporting the API standard, development times can be shortened even further.

- Support for head-up displays: RH850/D1x MCUs include a function that automatically corrects video output in accordance with elements of car design, such as windscreens. The output video data can be warped to fit an arbitrary shape without frame delay. This enables head-up displays to be added to the instrument clusters.

- Functional safety: To secure functional safety for the instrument cluster systems, the RH850/D1x MCUs include functions for detecting system malfunctions and monitoring functions that continuously verify important information such as warnings. These functions also verify the gear