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SoC brings HD video to navigation devices

May 28, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Renesas Technology has announced a new Linux-ready system-on-chip (SoC) targeting terrestrial digital broadcast capability in security cameras, car navigation systems, and personal navigation devices (PNDs). The SH-MobileR2R can play and record HD (1280 x 720 pixels) video and 24-bit audio, says Renesas.

The SH-MobileR2R (formally, SH7724) follows up on the SH-MobileHD1 SoC released in early May for mobile phones and video phones. Like that product, the SH-MobileR2R is based on the company's 500MHz SH-4A core (see later in this story for background).

The SH-MobileR2R SoC, however, is physically larger than the HD1 version. The chip is delivered in either a 449-pin BGA (ball grid array) package measuring 21 x 21mm, or a 441-pin POP-compatible BGA measuring 14 x 14mm, says Renesas.

The SH-MobileR2R 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.

Terrestrial video on tap

As with the HD1 version, the R2R model's VPU5F (Video Processing Unit 5F) video processing IP supports the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (advanced video coding) standard. The SoC can process terrestrial digital broadcast formats “used outside of Japan,” including DVB-H (Europe), DMB (South Korea), and CMMB (China). Unlike the HD1, however, it is not compatible with YUV data from Japanese 1seg TV broadcasts. And, where the SH-MobileHD1 is said to decode or encode 1080p HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) video at up to 30fps (frames per second), the R2R version tops out at 1280 x 720 pixels.

According to Renesas, the SH-MobileR2R offers dual camera interfaces. The VPU5F interface can encode one channel of HD encode stream or two channels of standard-definition (720×480 pixels), abbreviated as SD encode streams. There is also a JPU (JPEG Processing Unit) that supports Motion JPEG encode streams. The chip's 24-bit dedicated audio DSP is said to support compression formats including Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), MP3, and Windows Media Audio (WMA), and the terrestrial video specific aacPlus (Advanced Audio Coding Plus).

Major on-chip peripheral functions include:

  • 24-bit TFT color LCD controller
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Host/Function modules (with high-speed data transfer support)
  • ATAPI controller storage connections
  • SD host controller with high-speed data transfer support
  • Ethernet MAC (Media Access Control) controller

Developer support includes plans to offer Linux board support packages (BSPs), as well as codec middleware supporting H.264, MPEG-4, and Windows Media Video (WMV) video formats, plus aacPlus audio. A reference platform will incorporate the SH-MobileR2R, as well as a graphics library compatible with Windows Automotive 5.0 Service Pack 2 that supports the rendering functions of the 2-D graphics accelerator.


Renesas did not provide a block diagram of the SH-MobileR2R (SH7370), nor any word about prospective operating system support. As noted, however, the 500MHz chip uses the company's SH4A core, known to be compatible with Linux and Windows CE. The SH-4A core is said to enable parallel processing of multiple applications, such as simultaneous dual-screen display of both an automotive navigation screen and a rear monitor display, says Renesas.

Renesas previously released the 400MHz SH7723, also known as the SH-MobileR2, and the 266MHz SH7722, also known as the SH-MobileR. Compared to the SH-MobileR2, the SH-MobileR2R is claimed by Renesas to be about 1.3 times faster. A 2-D graphics accelerator is also said to offer improved rendering performance.


According to Renesas, the SH-MobileR2R will begin sampling in August, and costs (in quantities of 10,000) $36 for the 449-pin BGA and $31 for the 441-pin packge. A more detailed spec list is available at the end of the press release, here. More information on Renesas' many Super-H products may be found here.

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