MCU boosts embedded-AI imaging

October 08, 2018 // By Julien Happich
Renesas Electronics is expanding its range of embedded artificial intelligence (e-AI) solutions for incorporating AI into embedded systems by bringing intelligence to endpoints.

The company has now developed a new RZ/A2M microprocessor (MPU) to expand the use of e-AI solutions to high-end applications. The new MPU delivers 10 times the image processing performance of its predecessor, the RZ/A1, and incorporates Renesas’ exclusive Dynamically Reconfigurable Processor (DRP), which achieves real-time image processing at low power consumption.

Currently, there are several challenges to using AI in the operational technology (OT) field, such as the difficulty of transferring large amounts of sensor data to the cloud for processing, and delays waiting for AI judgments to be transferred back from the cloud.

Renesas already offers AI unit solutions that can detect previously invisible faults in real time by minutely analyzing oscillation waveforms from motors or machines. The RZ/A2M was developed to accelerate the adoption of AI in the OT field, making possible image-based AI functionality requiring larger volumes of data and more powerful processing performance than achievable with waveform measurement and analysis. Since real-time image processing can be accomplished while consuming very little power, battery-powered devices can perform tasks such as real-time image recognition based on camera input, biometric authentication using fingerprints or iris scans, and high-speed scanning by handheld scanners. This solves several issues associated with cloud-based approaches, such as the difficulty of achieving real-time performance, assuring privacy, and maintaining security.

The RZ/A2M with DRP is equipped with 4096KB of on-chip RAM, which eliminates the need for external DRAM. It supports the MIPI camera interface, widely used in mobile devices, and is equipped with a DRP for high-speed image processing. Two-channel Ethernet support and enhanced secure functionality with an on-chip hardware encryption accelerator complete the chip.

Samples of the RZ/A2M with DRP are available now. The RZ/A2M MPUs are offered with a development board, reference software, and DRP image-processing library, allowing customers to begin evaluating HMI function and image processing performance.

Renesas - www.renesas.com


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