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Navigation display SoC gains Linux development support

Aug 31, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

Lineo Solutions and Timesys have collaborated on a new LinuxLink subscription supporting the 500MHz Renesas SH7724 SoC (system on chip). The Timesys LinuxLink subscription supports Renesas' SH7724-based MS774 development board and offers a Linux 2.6.33 kernel, drivers for touchscreens and other peripherals, plus the usual LinuxLink tools and services.

Announced in May of last year, the Renesas SuperH Microprocessor SH7724, also known as the SH-MobileR2R, was said to target terrestrial digital broadcast capability in security cameras, car navigation systems, and personal navigation devices (PNDs). To this earlier list of applications, Lineo adds automotive navigation systems enabled with Japan's One-seg mobile terrestrial broadcasting system for data, audio, and video.

SH7724 background

The SH7724 SoC can play and record video at 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) and process 24-bit audio, says Renesas. The processor was announced about the same time as the more compact SH7370, or SH-MobileHD1, which is aimed at mobile phones and video phones.

Like the SH7370, the SH7724 is based on the company's 500MHz SH-4A core, which is touted for enabling parallel processing of multiple applications, such as simultaneous dual-screen display of both an automotive navigation screen and a rear monitor display.

Whereas the smartphone-oriented SH7730 can decode or encode 1080p HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) video at up to 30fps (frames per second), the SH7724 version tops out at 1280 x 720 pixels, says Renesas.

Both SoCs offer terrestrial video support via their VPU5F (Video Processing Unit 5F) video processing IP. When the SoCs were announced, however, only the SH7730 was said to support One-seg (also spelled 1seg). Based on Lineo's One-seg claim for the processor, however, this feature has apparently been added to the SH7724, as well.

The SH7724 SoC is said to integrate 64KB of primary cache memory (32KB each for instructions and data), as well as 256KB of secondary cache memory. The synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) interface supports connections to both 1.8 V DDR2 (Double Data Rate 2) and MobileDDR memory, useful for battery-powered devices, says the company.

Renesas Multimedia Solution Linux MS7724

Designed in collaboration with Lineo, the Timesys LinuxLink subscription specifically supports Renesas' Linux-ready Renesas Multimedia Solution Linux MS7724 development board, which was announced in December of last year.

Equipped with a 500MHz SH7724 SoC, the MS7724 (pictured above) offers Ethernet, USB, and DVI I/O, as well as optional seven-inch touchscreen and 3.5-megapixel, 720p-ready camera modules. (For more information and a spec list, please see our earlier coverage, here.)

Timesys' LinuxLink, which is now billed as "the industry's most affordable web and desktop -based service for Linux developers," offers a suite of software, tools, and documentation required for embedding developed Linux into products.

Supporting a wide range of expertise levels from beginner to expert, the service offers a "Factory" build service, as well as Linux kernel, cross-toolchain, application development IDE, numerous middleware packages and software libraries, plus technical support, says Timesys.

Specific components of the SH7724 subscription kit are said to include:

  • Linux 2.6.33
  • Gcc-4.4.4
  • Binutils-2.20.1
  • Glibc-2.11, uClibc-
  • Peripheral drivers for touchscreen, audio, etc.
  • MatchBox LCD/ touch-panel packages

In 2008, Timesys and long-time embedded Linux development house Lineo announced a joint development and marketing alliance aimed at adapting LinuxLink to the Japanese marketplace. In March of 2009, the companies announced jointly developed embedded Linux development subscriptions  for two Renesas SH4-family RISC processors.

Stated Satoshi Masuda, senior manager of Mobile Product Marketing Department, Renesas Electronics Corp., "The SH7724 LinuxLink support will allow many customers to develop highly-functional products promptly by utilizing Lineo's experience of Linux system development."

Stated Kenji Futatsugi, President and CEO of Lineo Solutions, "The announcement is our latest achievement which was developed by Timesys and Lineo strategic partnership."

Stated Atul Bansal, CEO of TimeSys Corp., "Together, Timesys and Lineo continue to deliver the industry's most easy-to-use and affordable embedded Linux solutions."


The LinuxLink subscription for the Renesas SH7724 costs 1,170,000 Yen (about $13,887), says Lineo.

More information on the SH7724 subscription may be found at Timesys, here.

More information on Lineo may be found here.

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