Artificial Intelligence

Automotive radar MCUs enable higher accuracy and safety

4th January 2017
Alice Matthews

Renesas Electronics has announced its first RH850-based, 32-bit, automotive radar microcontroller (MCU) series. The RH850/V1R will deliver the high performance and features required for enabling future Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving vehicles. 

The RH850/V1R-M, the first product from the RH850/V1R Series, includes a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) and high speed serial interfaces and is specifically designed for middle- to long-range radars.

Software and tools including evaluation boards will also become available to enable the system developers to start their development immediately with the RH850/V1R-M solution.

With the expansion of ADAS and autonomous driving, sensors are fast becoming a key technology. Currently vehicles are being equipped with a broad spectrum of sensors such as cameras, lidar and ultrasonic sensors. In particular, radar sensors are required for ADAS applications, including advanced emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, because, unlike other sensors, radar sensors are not negatively affected by external environmental limitations which includes adverse weather conditions, such as rain, fog or whether the sun is shining or not.

Additionally, high precision sensing becomes critical in realising future autonomous driving to meet the increasing requirements of range resolution, separation of objects and precision in measurement of velocity. This requires increased numbers of antennas and boosting of the signal processing performance.

To address these needs, Renesas launched the RH850/V1R-M MCU specifically designed for radar applications in ADAS. The MCU includes optimised, programmable digital signal processing, a dual core at 320MHz with high speed flash of 2MB, a 2MB internal RAM, while meeting the industry’s highest temperature requirements, the company claims. 

Key features:

  1. High-performance DSP with flexible programmability for improved radar signal processing performance and increased sensing accuracy
    The RH850/V1R-M MCU is designed to have optimised hardware acceleration in the DSP. The optimised DSP allows the system developers to process the raw data into target objects efficiently, separately from the safety relevant classification and tracking done in the CPUs. Renesas’ high performance DSP performs radar specific algorithms such as Fast Fourier Transforms (FFTs), beamforming, windowing, channel calibration, peak search, at high speed and with low power consumption. The DSP offers high flexible programmability and Renesas specifically developed a DSP math library for automotive radar sensors to support system developers in their algorithm development.
  2. Renesas low-power technology and embedded flash for more compact and low-cost radar sensors
    The RH850/V1R-M is developed using Renesas’ 40nm embedded flash (eFlash) process technology, which has a proven track record in terms of re-write cycles, random access operation speeds and high reliability. It also has the merit of low power consumption as the transistors are smaller, lowering parasitic capacitances. Renesas also states that the process specification of RH850/V1R-M also fulfills the highest temperature requirements in the industry (T-junction 150°C). The embedded flash brings advantage to the system designer by offering higher integration using less PCB space and better real time behaviour.
  3. Dual core at 320MHz high performance, integrated 2MB large capacity RAM, 2MB highest speed flash and highest temperature requirements
    The new RH850/V1R-M features two G3MH CPU cores operating at 320MHz and are the highest performance cores among the RH850 Family. The G3MH is a superscalar Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) architecture with two 7-stage integer pipelines, which allows execution of two different instructions at the same time. Each G3MH core achieves the performance of 3.2 DMIPS/MHz.
    The RH850/V1R-M also includes 2MB speed flash based on Renesas automotive 40nm embedded flash technology.
    By incorporating a large 2MB capacity RAM, the RH850/V1R-M handles all specific calculations on radar cube data such as range and velocity FFTs, digital beam forming, Constant False Alarm Rate (CFAR) and peak detection.

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