Highly integrated 480 MIPS SuperH microcontroller replaces industrial PCs, gives many benefits whilst reducing cost

20th November 2006
ES Admin
Previewed at Electronica, Renesas Technology’s SH7203 integrated microcontroller offers a performance level that in many applications enables it to replace an industrial PC.
Many companies use industrial PCs for highly functional systems, which is great for rapid prototyping, but there are significant drawbacks, specifically cost, power consumption, interrupt response times and life time. The SH7203 is often able to replace an industrial PC at a tiny fraction of the cost and power consumption. It also responds faster to interrupts than even the best industrial PC, specifically in 30ns, and as a fully integrated device from Renesas, it is extremely reliable.

The SH7203 is a SH2-A-FPU-based, highly integrated microcontroller with 480MIPS performance and IEEE754 compliant, single and double-precision Floating Point Unit (FPU). The device features a large number of interfaces including double CAN, USB host/function, LCD drive and numerous serial ports.
Renesas’ SH7203 is based on the company’s state-of-the-art SH2-A-FPU 32bit RISC CPU core. The SH2-A-FPU core has a superscalar Harvard architecture with twin execution units and five-stage pipelines to achieve a 2.4MIPS/MHz performance rating. The CPU also has 15 register banks, each with 16 general purpose registers 32bit wide. The CPU can hence react very quickly to interrupts, in just 30ns at 200MHz.

The CPU is kept busy by a 16Kbyte cache, and the Harvard architecture with separate busses for code and data mean that there is no bus contention between data accesses and instruction fetches. The FPU performs 400MFLOPS peak and even the execution of complex functions such as sine are around 50 times faster than in an SH-2A core without FPU.

The high CPU performance, the FPU and the powerful MTU2 timer unit are key enablers of next-generation industrial real-time systems such as high-end vector motor drives. The FPU can also be used to efficiently execute DSP-type algorithms such as different types of audio codecs, including the ability to decode several streams simultaneously. Benchmarks show that the key strength of the FPU is in the efficient execution of complex algorithms, such as WMA-DRM10, when compared to a DSP.

The SH7203 features a vast peripheral set with double CAN 2.0B, a USB 2.0 host/function with high-speed support, hardware LCD drive up to 640x480 pixels, a powerful 6-channel, 16-bit timer unit called MTU2 with special AC motor drive modes, phase counting and sophisticated dead time handling, a Compare-Match-Timer (CMT), a Real Time Clock (RTC), a Watchdog Timer (WDT), an 8-channel 10 bit ADC, a 2 channel 8 bit DAC, 4x fifo serial ports (SCIF), 4x IIC, 2x SSU, a Serial Sound Interface (SSI), a Direct Memory Access Controller (DMAC), a Bus State Controller with SDRAM support (BSC), a large number of general purpose I/O, and 80Kbytes of RAM.

“Many electronics companies in Europe use industrial PCs for highly functional systems”, says Joachim Hüpper, Marketing Manager for high-end MCU/MPU, Renesas Technology Europe, “which is great for rapid prototyping, but there are significant drawbacks - specifically cost, power consumption, interrupt response times and life time. In many cases the SH7203 represents an attractive alternative with distinct advantages.

Samples of Renesas’ SH7203 will start shipping in January 2007 in a RoHS-compliant 240pin QFP package. The SH7203 has On-Chip-Debug support for Renesas’ popular E10A-USB, and support for Lauterbach Trace32-ICD is under preparation. It is also supported by Renesas’ fully integrated development environment HEW (High-performance Embedded Workshop), Renesas’ highly optimised C Compiler, and a free-of-charge GNU C Compiler from KPIT. A Renesas starter kit (RSK) will be available in the first quarter of 2007.

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