Renesas unveils chip for next-gen robotics with vision AI

29th February 2024
Kristian McCann

Renesas announced an expansion of its RZ Family of microprocessors with the introduction of the RZ/V2H, specifically designed for high-performance robotics applications. The new microprocessor stands as the most powerful within the RZ Family, featuring enhanced capabilities for vision AI and real-time control.

The RZ/V2H is equipped with Renesas's latest AI accelerator, the DRP-AI3, which marks a significant leap in power efficiency, delivering 10 TOPS/W – a tenfold increase over its predecessors. The integration of pruning technology within the DRP-AI3 enhances AI computational efficiency, with AI inference capabilities reaching up to 80 TOPS. This advancement enables the processing of vision AI applications directly on edge AI devices, bypassing the need for cloud-based solutions. The breakthrough DRP-AI3 technology was showcased at the recent ISSCC 2024 in San Francisco.

Featuring a combination of four Arm Cortex-A55 CPU cores, two Cortex-R8 cores, and one Cortex-M33 core, the RZ/V2H can seamlessly manage complex vision AI and real-time control tasks, ideal for the robotics applications of tomorrow. Its low power consumption eliminates the need for additional cooling systems, allowing for the design of more compact, cost-effective, and reliable systems.

Daryl Khoo, Vice President of the Embedded Processing 1st Division at Renesas, expressed the company's commitment to driving forward the robotics market through AI technology. The RZ/V2H is poised to enable the development of autonomous robots with independent thinking and real-time movement control capabilities.

Renesas has also leveraged its DRP technology to create the OpenCV Accelerator, significantly enhancing the processing speed of the OpenCV library for computer vision, up to 16 times faster than traditional CPU processing. This, combined with the DRP-AI3 and OpenCV Accelerator, facilitates efficient and real-time Visual SLAM applications, crucial for devices like robot vacuum cleaners.

To support rapid development, Renesas has introduced AI Applications, a library of pre-trained models, and an AI SDK, enabling developers to easily evaluate AI applications on the RZ/V2H's evaluation board. This initiative aims to simplify the AI development process, especially for those with limited AI expertise.

Rolf Segger, founder of SEGGER Microcontroller GmbH, shared his enthusiasm for the RZ/V2H's launch, highlighting the synergy between AI technology and real-time control. SEGGER’s J-Link debug probe will support the RZ/V2H, further accelerating the development of groundbreaking robotic technologies. Segger looks forward to continuing the longstanding partnership with Renesas in this new development phase.

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