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Renesas’ Cockpit Reference Design is Based on its R-Car SoC

This ECU white-box solution helps shorten time-to-market by providing a full hardware and software package.

Renesas Electronics developed a reference solution for digital cockpit applications that’s based on the R-Car M3 system-on-chip (SoC). The Renesas Cockpit Reference Solution employs module-level hardware and software delivered as a mixture of free and open-source software (FOSS), the company’s software, and third-party software from members of Renesas’ automotive partner network. OEMs and production partners can modify, change, and distribute the Renesas code to best fit their application design needs.


1. Shown is the Renesas cockpit reference design electronic control unit (ECU).

The R-Car Cockpit ECU reference design (Fig. 1) can provide a shortcut for several time-consuming challenges, such as high-speed LPDDR4 layout, peripheral layout, design optimization, and functionality testing.

Hardware deliverables include:

  • ECU
  • PCB schematic
  • PCB layout
  • HW parts library
  • Board bring-up procedure and SW test utility
  • High-speed memory simulation assets
  • Mechanical enclosure CAD model

Delivered as source code, the software package enables users to jump-start application designs without existing cockpit solutions or collateral required (Fig. 2). The software package includes:

  • Board support package (BSP) and drivers
  • Virtualization with GHS Integrity safety content and auto-grade Linux IVI content
  • Multiple display outputs (up to 3x)
  • A flexible UI with Qt
  • Multimedia support of audio/video playback
  • Mapbox Auto Navigation support
  • A Bluetooth stack
  • System settings and user profile support
  • Connectivity interfaces: Automotive Ethernet, CAN/CAN FD
  • Telematics interfaces:  Wi-Fi, BT, LTE
  • Camera integration supporting surround view and backup cameras


2. The block diagram breaks down the R-Car Cockpit ECU software.

The package also includes an operating system (OS), virtualization example, middleware, and a full application layer.

 “The automotive integrated cockpit is a challenging space because the integration of so many different cockpit functions, such as multiple operating systems, a rich UI, Bluetooth, and navigation, requires significant system-level insight,” said Daniel Sisco, Senior Director of Automotive Systems, Renesas Electronics.

The Renesas Cockpit Reference Solution is available now. Going forward, the company says it will continue to update and expand the solution with new software features.

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