The RZ/A3UL has been designed to allow customers to achieve the full potential of a real-time operating system (RTOS) while leveraging the performance boost provided by the 64-bit Arm Cortex-A55 CPU core with a maximum operating frequency of 1 GHz.
Using an RTOS allows systems to start up instantly, in less than a second after boot-up and is intended for systems that require a fast response time such as industrial equipment, home appliances and office automation equipment with liquid crystal displays or control panels, as well as audio equipment and POS terminals.
The MPUs integrate an Octal-SPI memory interface that facilitates simpler and more compact board designs. In addition, the new devices include versions that support a DDR3L/DDR4 memory interface to enable connection of high-speed DRAM. For example, the DDR3L/DDR4 memory interface achieves a data transfer speed that is approximately 10 times faster than the Octal-SPI memory interface, maximising the performance needed to enable an HD (1280x720) class display and an interactive and more sophisticated HMI utilising camera input or various types of sensors.
The RZ/A3UL supports the industry’s two leading RTOSes: FreeRTOS and Azure RTOS. Since Renesas is a license provider of Azure RTOS for the RZ Family, users can simply download the high-performance Azure RTOS from GitHub and get started immediately.
In addition, Renesas offers a Flexible Software Package including FreeRTOS and HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) drivers that developers can use as a reference when developing their own applications. An extensive suite of middleware is also available for both operating systems, further reducing the time and cost for development.
“Many customers who use RTOSes tell us that they want to retain features like excellent real-time capabilities and quick start-up, but that they also want higher resolution and better performance,” said Shigeki Kato, Vice President of the Enterprise Infrastructure Business Division at Renesas. “I am confident that the RZ/A3UL will deliver the higher performance required, while still giving customers the flexibility and ease of use offered by MCUs.”
The peripheral functions and package pin assignments of the RZ/A3UL are compatible with the RZ/G2UL that employs the Cortex-A55 core targeting Linux-based HMI applications, and with the RISC-V-based RZ/Five products. This means that engineers can develop new products using the same board design, simply by replacing the chip.
The compatibility between devices also allows engineers to easily transition from a product that runs an RTOS to a Linux-based product, facilitating efficient development across multiple product models.