Over the last few years, the automotive and IoT industries have experienced rapid changes, represented by Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services, Electric (CASE) and digital transformation (DX). In addition, there are signs that the 2020 COVID-19 crisis is accelerating the paradigm shift to DX. Key examples include automation and non-contact technologies such as voice/gesture recognitions and tools for enabling remote work, remote medical care and online education.

Renesas is innovating through its advanced technologies to address mission-critical business areas like automotive, factory automation (FA) and telecommunications infrastructure, all essential foundations of our society. It is in our DNA to foster sustainable development of our society and local communities through semiconductor solutions. As the cornerstone of our growth strategy, we actively invest in R&D to strengthen current businesses and make advancements in technological innovation. During 2019, the total R&D investment made by Renesas was 128.7 billion yen, approximately 18% of our total revenue in 2019.

Renesas’ Technological Innovation

Innovation is the driving force behind Renesas’ sustainable growth. It is our technologies that define Renesas’ true impact on the world. Renesas has a well-established heritage of technological innovations with our proprietary digital computing architectures using CPU and accelerators with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Our advanced embedded flash memory processes and other innovations also contribute to satisfy the computational performance requirements, power consumption and space constraints of embedded systems.

Following the acquisition of Intersil and IDT, Renesas gained access to a vast array of robust analog mixed-signal and power capabilities in embedded systems. These include RF, advanced timing, memory interface, power management, wireless power, optical interconnect and smart sensors. The combination of these products with Renesas’ advanced microcontrollers (MCUs) and System-on-Chips (SoCs) enables Renesas to offer comprehensive solutions that support the increasing demand of high data processing performance. The enriched solution offerings bring optimized systems from external sensors through analog front-end devices to processors and interfaces, which enable us to deliver high value-added innovation to our customers.

To further drive our unwavering commitment to innovation, we selected four core technologies as the key focus to achieve future sustainable growth: Artificial Intelligence, Safety & Security, Digital & Analog & Power Solutions, and Cloud Native.

AI is essential to enhancing our computing competencies to address emerging requirements for the automation and data centric world. Safety & Security is the foundation of mission-critical applications to realize a secure and safe society. Automation and IoT requirements need to realize human interfaces with a variety of sensors acting as nerves (analog) that are controlled by brains (digital). Digital & Analog & Power Solutions therefore play a key role in coping with the demands from society. Embedded systems are no longer isolated objects, but instead are connected to the cloud, executing cloud services. Cloud Native is a vital value to be realized because they allow cloud services to run smoothly on endpoint devices with real-time, low-latency control and communications.

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AI

Renesas was one of the first semiconductor suppliers to introduce the idea of endpoint intelligence to the industry with its flexible and scalable embedded artificial intelligence (e-AI) concept. We bring intelligence into endpoint embedded devices to address the increasing demand to realize an eco-friendly, smart society that supports safer and healthy living in areas where this cannot be solved simply by using big data in the cloud.

Energy Efficient Computing Powered by AI

As already proven for the automotive and industrial applications, Renesas provides efficient and low power computing solutions at endpoint devices through well-balanced architectures using CPU and accelerators incorporating AI capabilities.

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As an example on how we realize AI in automotive systems, Renesas’ R-Car SoC promotes energy efficient computer vision processing by balancing peak performance and efficiency with heterogeneous-architectural design for stereo front camera applications. Part of the innovative and trusted Renesas autonomy™ Platform for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving (AD), the R-Car enables design flexibility for Tier 1s and OEMs to map their own road from assisted- to highly-automated vehicles.

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For industrial applications, the RZ/V Series of MPUs address the increasing need to have real-time, AI-based human and object recognition functionality in applications such as surveillance cameras, product scanners and POS terminal cameras. The RZ/V Series feature a dynamically reconfigurable processor (DRP-AI), which is Renesas’ proprietary vision-optimized AI accelerator. The DRP-AI meets multimodal AI facial, context and object recognition requirements through its dynamically configurable nature. Renesas also offers the DRP-AI Translator, a tool dedicated for DRP-AI based development that simplifies the implementation of users’ learned AI models into embedded devices. The RZ/V Series dramatically expands the range of AI applications in embedded devices through object recognition. For example, imagine cameras in smart shopping cart systems that automatically calculate totals based on the cart items, or robots in factories that can safely work together with humans, and medical cameras that assist doctors in making diagnosis.

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Safety & Security

With our commitment to continued investment in the expertise and technology necessary for leading-edge new product development, Renesas is well positioned to address the heightened need for safety and security in today’s connected products. In a world where virtually everything is connected, Renesas’ functional safety and security technologies are designed to meet the industries’ highest ISO/IEC standards for reliability and performance to provide customers with greater peace of mind.

Building Root-of-Trust with Safety and Security Technologies

The vast diffusion of connected devices has created enormous demand for robust safety and security in response to the growing demand for billions of connected devices and services worldwide. From increasing the safety of roads, cars, and homes, to fundamentally improving the way we manufacture and consume products, connected devices provide valuable data and insights that will enhance the way we work and live. At Renesas, using our safety & security technologies, we strive to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of systems and data while mitigating cybersecurity risks to realize a safer and robust society.

To help our customers build robust systems, Renesas provides comprehensive support for functional safety and security in mission-critical applications.

Click here to learn more about Renesas’ safety features.

Click here to learn more about Renesas’ security features.

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Renesas delivers robust safety and security for many industrial fields including IoT, factory and building automation, home appliances, and robotics. Renesas supports the IEC 61508 and other industry standards for application-specific safety standards, and also provides security solutions using our root of trust technologies in accordance with target businesses and their market requirements.

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As a world-leading automotive semiconductor supplier, Renesas is deeply engaged in the ISO Working Group for ISO 26262 and the upcoming ISO/SAE 21434 to lead the development of functional safety and security technologies in automotive systems. Leveraging our core competencies with a proven automotive track record recognized by our customers, we proactively propose new system solutions that are optimized to our customers' systems and that can easily satisfy functional safety and security requirements.

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Digital & Analog & Power Solution

The emerging system-oriented approach pursues synergies with Renesas’ analog, power, and digital product portfolio to address unique control technologies rather than merely provide customers a connected system block diagram of digital and analog devices. Renesas’ complementary product portfolios of Analog + Power + Embedded Processing work together to deliver compelling solutions that reduce power consumption and bill of materials (BOM) cost while maximizing system efficiency and high performance. These comprehensive system solutions help our customers accelerate their designs, shorten time to market and ultimately contribute to sustainable development and the reduction of environmental loads on a global scale.

Easy-to-Use, One Stop Solutions

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Our product experts have developed approximately 200 Winning Combinations, with several more added each month. These compelling product combinations help our customers shorten their development schedules and achieve faster time to market. These product portfolio combinations focus on vertical applications, including industrial, infrastructure, automotive, and consumer segments, to service more customers and partners worldwide. Renesas’ Winning Combinations reduce the BOM used on a printed circuit board (PCB), as well as a customer’s development burden and time.

Winning combination for small industrial robot

Small industrial robots are widely used in industrial applications to actuate the axis for robot arm control. Combining a resolver-to-digital converter (RDC) IC with the RX24T MCU, supporting resolver sensors of both voltage detection type, and current detection type, enabling servo control of stepping motors with resolvers. As a result, Renesas’ small industrial robot solution can help customers realize cost savings and achieve superior performance, even in harsh environments.

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Cloud-Native

Cloud Native technology allows cloud services to run smoothly on endpoint devices. To realize cloud-native embedded devices, it is necessary for our system solutions to incorporate advanced software and IT technologies. Renesas invests in partnerships and initiatives to work with cloud providers for different verticals, to help accelerate development of cloud-native core technologies such as security, safety, connectivity, human machine interface (HMI), among others.

Innovation through Collaboration

Renesas provides a vast array of embedded connected and IoT solutions for our products through their cloud services partner collaborations. The publicly available source code includes middleware stacks to support secure connections with all major cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and any third party MQTT broker. We will continue to extend our collaboration with cloud service partners to enable our customers to finding the best-suited cloud service partner for their systems.

As an example for automotive cloud solutions, Renesas has adopted AWS cloud service and Greengrass for its Connected Car Software Development Tools, which empower Renesas R-Car Safety & Security. The software development tools have been validated by both AWS Greengrass and AWS IoT core and have been tested to run on Renesas’ R-Car Starter Kit under Automotive Grade Linux environment This enables out-of-the-box development of innovative applications instead of the traditional approach of simply connecting the vehicle to the cloud, making cloud services available in the vehicle.

As an example for industrial and IoT solutions, Renesas and Microsoft worked to combine Renesas’ extensive secure embedded design experience with easy and seamless out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Azure RTOS across our MCU and MPU portfolio. This collaboration helps deliver a complete chip-to-cloud IoT solution based on Renesas’ intelligent and secure devices and Microsoft Azure IoT building blocks including Azure RTOS, Azure IoT device SDK for C, IoT Plug and Play, IoT Central and IoT Hub.

Renesas Alliance Partner Program and Consortium

Renesas organizes the Renesas Alliance Partner Program that provides our partners with access to early information, non-public information, and hands-on training from Renesas. Through this program, we support our customers to achieve an edge over their competition and get to market quicker with trained and highly skilled Alliance Partners who understand Renesas products.

We also have consortiums for specific fields such as automotive and industrial that enables our customers to quickly identify and directly engage with the partners whose solutions will help them accelerate their next innovation.

More information about Renesas’ Alliance Partner Program and consortium is available on various product pages on our website.

Renesas’ Linux engagement in Open Source Software (OSS) Community

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The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux and collaborative OSS development. As an active Gold Member of the Linux Foundation, Renesas has long been contributing to open source development. Renesas has also been deeply engaged in the Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) project and the Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project as a Platinum Member.

Renesas’ contribution to the Linux Foundation helps our customers utilize not only the OSS assets from each community for early setup, but also to find highly skilled engineers from local suppliers. We are committed to extend our efforts to sharing our innovations and working with the broader community through the Linux Foundations to ensure trust and security in OSS for everyone.

Focus (Innovation in AI)

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On April 16, 2020, Renesas’ Chief Technology Officer, Shinichi Yoshioka presented a keynote speech entitled “Disruptive Evolutions: Technological Challenges and Countermeasures” at the IEEE Symposium’s Low-Power and High-Speed Chips conference, hosted by COOL Chips. To achieve sustainable development in AI-specific application segments, Renesas’ Mr. Yoshioka explained the energy requirements of products and services. For example, in autonomous driving systems, high performance AI computing is necessary to process over twenty sensor outputs every 30 milli-seconds for cognitive operations such as detecting obstacles and searching for free parking spaces. Such driving control ECUs for sensing and cognitive operations consume the largest part of an EV’s total power consumption. High power consumption requires expensive cooling fans and heat sinks, which prevent those applications from being widely used. Performance per power is a vital index in AI embedded systems, and Renesas’ cutting-edge technology will contribute to reducing energy costs and enabling a more energy-efficient world.

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Contributing to SDGs

Renesas’ efforts in Innovation contributes to these Sustainable Development Goals targets:

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9 INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE

SDG 9.5 Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending