Renesas Delivers New RA8 MCU Group Targeting Graphic Display Solutions and Voice/Vision Multimodal AI Applications


Renesas’ Arm® Cortex®-M85 Processor-Based Devices Offer Ultra High Performance, Graphics Capabilities and Leading-Edge Security for Building Automation, Smart Home, Consumer and Medical Applications

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today introduced the RA8D1 microcontroller (MCU) group. The RA8D1 group is the second in Renesas’ RA8 Series, the first MCUs based on the Arm® Cortex®-M85 processor. RA8D1 MCUs deliver breakthrough performance of over 6.39 CoreMark/MHz1 combined with ample memory, graphics and peripheral functions optimized to address diverse graphics display solutions, and Voice/Vision Multimodal AI requirements for a range of applications in building automation, home appliances, smart home, consumer, and medical market segments.


All RA8 Series MCUs take advantage of the high performance of the Arm Cortex-M85 processor and Arm’s Helium™ technology with a vector/SIMD instruction set extension that provides up to a 4X performance boost for digital signal processor (DSP) and machine learning (ML) implementations over the Cortex-M7 core. This added performance is ideal for graphics and neural network processing and can eliminate the need for a separate hardware accelerator in some applications. They also offer advanced security including Arm TrustZone® technology, Renesas Security IP (RSIP-E51A), Secure Boot with first stage bootloader in immutable storage, Octal SPI interface with Decryption-on-the-fly (DOTF), and Pointer Authentication and Branch Target Identification (PACBTI) security extension.

The new RA8D1 devices include a high-resolution graphics LCD controller with parallel RGB and MIPI-DSI interfaces to LCD display panels, a 2D graphics drawing engine, a 16-bit camera interface (CEU), multiple external memory interfaces for storage of frame buffer and graphics assets, and 176 and 224 pin packages. This feature set is combined with professional quality graphics user interface software solutions from SEGGER emWin and Microsoft GUIX fully integrated into the Renesas Flexible Software Package (FSP). Renesas also provides support for open-source Light and Versatile Graphics Library (LVGL) and a robust network of graphics and AI ecosystem partners. A full-featured graphics evaluation kit with LCD panel and camera module rounds out the solution and provides a robust development platform for graphics applications including: industrial HMI, video doorbells, patient monitors, graphics calculators, security panels, printer display panels, and appliance displays.

“There is growing demand for high-quality displays to improve user experiences. The introduction of the RA8D1 MCUs showcases the design capabilities and market knowledge that have made Renesas the world leader in MCUs,” said Daryl Khoo, Vice President of the IoT Platform Division at Renesas. “These new devices take advantage of the unprecedented performance of the Cortex-M85 core and Helium technology to meet our customers increasing requirements for better display solutions and fast-growing vision AI implementations such as people and object detection, face recognition, image classification, and pose estimation.”

“Plumerai licenses highly accurate AI solutions to customers developing smart home cameras and IOT devices,” said Roeland Nusselder, CEO of Plumerai. “We have ported our Plumerai People Detection AI software to the new RA8D1 MCU that includes the powerful Arm Cortex-M85 CPU with Helium vector extensions. The RA8D1 speeds up our software by 6.5x compared to an Arm Cortex-M7 using Arm’s CMSIS-NN kernels. There’s a big demand for our AI solutions in home security, smart buildings, home appliances and retail. Using the RA8 MCUs from Renesas, we can now fulfill this demand.”

Key Features of the RA8D1 Group MCUs
  • Core: 480 MHz Arm Cortex-M85 with Helium and TrustZone
  • Memory: Integrated 2MB/1MB Flash memory and 1MB SRAM (including TCM, 512KB ECC protected)
  • Graphics Peripherals: Graphics LCD controller supporting resolutions up to WXGA (1280×800), parallel RGB and MIPI-DSI interfaces to external LCD and/or TFT display, powerful 2D drawing engine, 16bit CEU camera interface, 32bit external SDRAM interface
  • Other Peripherals: Ethernet, XSPI (Octal SPI) with XIP and DOTF, SPI, I2C/I3C, SDHI, USBFS/HS, CAN-FD, SSI, 12bit ADC & DAC, comparators, temperature sensor, timers
  • Advanced Security: Leading-edge cryptographic algorithms, TrustZone, Secure Boot, immutable storage, tamper resistance with DPA/SPA attack protection, secure debug, secure factory programming and lifecycle management support
  • Packages: 176-pin LQFP, 224-pin BGA

The new RA8D1 Group MCUs are supported by Renesas’ Flexible Software Package (FSP). The FSP enables faster application development by providing all the infrastructure software needed, including multiple RTOS, BSP, peripheral drivers, middleware, connectivity, networking, and security stacks as well as reference software to build complex AI, motor control and cloud solutions. It allows customers to integrate their own legacy code and choice of RTOS with FSP, thus providing full flexibility in application development. Using the FSP will ease migration of existing designs to the new RA8 Series devices.

Winning Combinations

Renesas has combined the new RA8D1 Group MCUs with numerous compatible devices from its portfolio to offer a wide array of Winning Combinations, including an Off-road GPS Guidance System and High-efficiency 7KW+ Smart Heat Pump. These Winning Combinations are technically vetted system architectures from mutually compatible devices that work together seamlessly to bring an optimized, low-risk design for faster time to market. Renesas offers more than 400 Winning Combinations with a wide range of products from the Renesas portfolio to enable customers to speed up the design process and bring their products to market more quickly. They can be found at renesas.com/win.


The RA8D1 Group MCUs are available now, along with the FSP software. Renesas is also shipping the RA8D1 Evaluation Kit that includes example projects targeted at graphics applications. Various Renesas Ready ecosystem partners also provide production-ready solutions for the RA8D1 MCUs. Renesas welcomes other partners who would like to port their software solutions to take advantage of the Cortex-M85 core and Helium. Information on all these offerings is available at renesas.com/RA8D1. Samples and kits can be ordered either on the Renesas website or through distributors.

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