Renesas Electronics Kickstarts Maker and Emerging Application Design with the First ARM Cortex-A Processor-Based mbed Microprocessor Board

Renesas Brings the World’s First ARM® Cortex®-A Processor series ARM mbed™ Developer Platform – the RZ/A1, Featuring 1000 DMIPS

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — November 10, 2014 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, is simplifying embedded design for engineers and developers in the Maker space and working on emerging applications via the recently-launched ARM mbed IoT Device platform. Leveraging its RZ/A1 microprocessor, Renesas has developed the world’s first ARM Cortex-A9 processor-based mbed microprocessor board, which will enable quicker development of high-performance, high-functionality embedded systems for designers of interconnected devices.

Renesas AZ/A1 ARM mbed IoT Device Platform (Photo: Business Wire)

Renesas AZ/A1 ARM mbed IoT Device Platform (Photo: Business Wire)

The ARM mbed IoT Device Platform offers a new software platform and free operating system to simplify and speed up the creation and deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) products. It offers development tools for professional and amateur developers, including command-line tools and a cloud-based integrated development environment (IDE), focusing on connectivity, energy-efficiency, security and productivity.

“Design environments in the evolving Internet of Things era change quickly; you must be agile as well as innovative to stay ahead of the curve. Combining a high-performance microprocessor with a rich ARM design ecosystem1, the RZ/A1 platform opens the door for professionals and hobbyists alike to develop projects for a wide range of emerging application areas,” said Ritesh Tyagi, vice president of marketing, Renesas Electronics America. “As a semiconductor industry leader, we are committed to bringing innovations like the RZ/A1 microprocessor, which supports and encourages exciting future embedded design.”

“Renesas Electronics has delivered an exciting and innovative new developer board that will expand the reach of the ARM mbed IoT Device Platform,” said Simon Ford, director of platforms, IoT business, ARM. “This engagement with Renesas demonstrates our commitment to assist developers in accelerating the creation and deployment of a diverse set of smarter, connected devices.”

About Renesas RZ/A1

Utilizing an apps processor, the ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, inside the RZ/A1 allows developers to reuse software developed for the Cortex-M family, while at the same time gaining enhanced performance and features. The RZ/A1 microprocessor also supports the CMSIS (Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard), allowing developers to port multi-threaded Cortex-M family software to the Cortex-A9 core without major modifications.

The RZ/A1 Group of microprocessors is built around an ARM Cortex-A9 CPU that clocks at 400 MHz and 1000 DMIPS3 and features the world’s largest4 on-chip RAM capacity of up to 10 MB. The RZ/A1 microprocessor delivers approximately four times the DMIPS performance and 40 times the RAM capacity of other ARM mbed products. By making use of features like the camera input, graphics accelerator, and audio processing functions of the RZ/A1 microprocessor, engineers can implement highly expressive and easy-to-use solutions on the RZ/A1 platform quickly and efficiently.

About ARM mbed IoT Device Platform

The ARM mbed IoT Device Platform is designed to simplify the deployment of IoT products by delivering a free operating system and licensable software platform providing server-side technologies. It has been built around open standards and will bring Internet protocols, security and standards-based manageability into one integrated solution, optimized for energy and cost-constrained devices. It is supported by the established and expanding mbed hardware and software ecosystem that will provide common building blocks for IoT devices and services. The platform will accelerate the growth of the IoT by enabling innovators to focus on value-add features and differentiation.

Pricing and Availability

Renesas RZ/A1 boards with mbed support are currently being developed by Renesas and its partners, and will be available from December 2014.


1 Ecosystem: A combination of development environment tools leveraging the same CPU architecture, such as OSes, compilers and debuggers, and the associated aggregation of developers, solution providers, and others who collectively form a major business. Applying the term “ecosystem” to the IT business expresses the notion of similarity with an ecosystem in nature.

2 CMSIS (Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard)-RTOS RTX is royalty-free source code released by ARM under the BST license.

3 DMIPS: An index of performance as measured by the Dhrystone benchmark program.

4 August 2014, according to research by Renesas. The largest MCU on-chip RAM capacity usable as main memory. (Microprocessor cache memory cannot be used independently as main memory and is therefore excluded.)

5 Compiler: Software that converts the program source code into machine-readable code that can run on a microcontroller.

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