R-Car S4 cuts starter kit cost for automotive gateways

R-Car S4 cuts starter kit cost for automotive gateways

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By Nick Flaherty

Renesas Electronics has launched a low cost development board for automotive gateway systems that pairs with a forthcoming open source software development kit (SDK).

The R-Car S4 Starter Kit is a low-cost, readily available board for building software using the Renesas automotive R-Car S4 system on chip (SoC). The SoC delivers high computing performance and an array of communication features for both cloud communication and safe vehicle control.

The kit is a less-expensive and readily-available option compared to the existing R-Car S4 Reference Board, which provides a full-scale development environment including an evaluation board and software to evaluate car servers, connected gateways, connectivity modules and for rapid application development.

The kit includes essential R-Car S4 interfaces such as Ethernet TSN switch and CAN FD, as well as memory such as 4GB(Gigabyte) of LPDDR4, 128GB of UFS (Universal Flash Storage), and 64MB(Megabyte) of Quad SPI flash memory. In addition, users can easily expand peripheral functions by using expansion connectors and customize the hardware according to individual needs.

Renesas also plans to provide the R-Car S4 Whitebox SDK, an open-source automotive development environment for the R-Car S4 later this year, which can be combined with the R-Car S4 Starter Kit. The SDK consists of FoC (Free of Charge) software and can be easily used without the need for complicated license agreements.

The SDK includes sample software, test programs, and resource monitoring tools for OTA (Over-The-Air software updates), IPS (Intrusion Prevention System), and IDS (Intrusion Detection System) for network security, allowing for various prototyping and evaluation. Users can use the sample software as a base to develop their own applications. This kit shortens development time and reduces energy consumption, thus imposing less impact on the environment.

“The R-Car S4 SoC has already been well received by our customers as a choice for gateway SoCs that support the evolution of E/E architecture,” said Takeshi Fuse, Head of Marketing and Business Development, High Performance Computing, Analog & Power Solutions Group at Renesas. “At the same time, our customers requested a development environment that can be used widely across their design teams, while keeping the cost down. This low-cost board addresses the need, and we are confident that it will accelerate their vehicle development.”

The R-Car S4 Starter Kit is available from major distributors. The R-Car S4 Whitebox SDK will be available by the end of August

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