Ryzen R1000 SoC Offers Dual Zen and Triple Vega Cores with a 12-25 W TDP

By Eric Brown

AMD has unveiled a lower-powered version of the Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC called the Ryzen Embedded R1000 with dual quad-threaded cores, 12-25 W TDPs, triple 4K displays, and support for dual 10GbE ports.

When AMD unveiled the Ryzen Embedded V1000 in Feb. 2018, the chipmaker claimed the x86-based CPU delivered twice the performance of its earlier R-Series chips. Now, the chipmaker has introduced a stripped-down Ryzen Embedded R1000 variant with the same low power consumption as the old R-Series while still offering considerably better CPU and GPU performance.

The Ryzen Embedded R1000 offers the same Zen CPU and Vega GPU cores as the V1000 while providing “3x generational performance improvement per watt” compared to the R-Series Merlin Falcon. The Linux-friendly chips are hardware and software compatible with the V1000.

The R1000 is designed for fanless embedded systems in applications including digital displays, high-performance edge computing, networking, and thin clients. Early adopters include Atari, which is using it for its VCS console, and Ibase, which announced an SBC and signage player (see farther below).

Ryzen Embedded R1000 models
(click image to enlarge)
The 14 nm FinFET fabricated Ryzen Embedded R1000 is available initially in two very similar R1606G and R1505G models. Like the lowest end V1202B version of the V1000, the new SoCs offer dual-core, quad-threaded CPUs, triple-core GPUs, and 12-25 W TDPs. They similarly provide 1 MB L2 and 4 MB L3 cache. Like all the Zen-based chips, they ship in an FP5 BGA form factor.

Although the R1000 lacks the support for 4x independent 4K@60 displays available with all the V1000 models, it does offer triple 4K displays. The first two models are also faster than the V1202B. The R1606G has a 2.6GHz (3.5GHz boost) CPU and the R1505G goes to 2.4 GHz / 3.3 GHz.

Ryzen Embedded R1000 benchmarks
(Source: AMD)
(click image to enlarge)
Like the V1202B, the lower-end R1505G has a 1GHz GPU, while the R1606G clocks its Vega GPU cores to 1.2GHz. Video support includes VP9 10-bit decode, H.265 10-bit decode and 8-bit encode, and H.264 encode and decode.

Security features are the same as those on the V1000, including an AMD Secure Processor “that encrypts data before it feeds to the I/O” and Platform Secure Boot capabilities, says AMD. One-time programmable (OTP) capabilities enable system designers to manage their own keys.

Ryzen Embedded R1000 and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)
Like the two lower-end V1000 models, the R1000 SoCs support up to 2400MT/s DDR4 instead of 3200MT/s on the two higher end V1000 chips. As with the V1000 models except the dual-core V1202B, the R1000 chips support up to dual 10GbE ports as well as various 1GbE and 2.5GbE configurations.

Like Intel’s latest 8th Gen, low-power Whiskey Lake-U CPUs, the chips support USB 3.1 Gen2 for up to 10Gbps throughput. Like the V1000, the R1000 SoC can drive up to 4x USB 3.1 ports as well as a USB Type-C port with DP support. PCIe support tops out at 8x lanes rather than 16x on the V1000. Other I/O support is mostly the same, including dual SATA and NVMe support.

The default OS for the R1000 is Mentor Embedded Linux (MEL) from Siemens. This Yocto Project flavored distro is now called “MEL Flex OS” to differentiate it from the new binary Debian version, called MEL Omni OS. AMD also lists support for Ubuntu 18.04.1, Yocto 2.5, and Windows 10.

Atari VCS

Early adopters: Atari VCS, Ibase SBC, and more

Early R1000 adopters include Advantech, ASRock Industrial, Atari, Axiomtek, DFI, Ibase, Kontron, MEN, Netronome, Quixant, Sapphire, Stratacache, and zSpace. Atari will be using it for its Ubuntu powered Atari VCS in place of the originally announced AMD A1 CPU. “With the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 powering the Atari VCS, we can support the 4K 60fps HDR content that users expect from a modern, secure gaming and entertainment system,” stated Michael Arzt, COO of Atari Connected Devices.

Stratacache will use the R1000 in upcoming multi-output digital signage players across its Stratacache, Scala, X2O Media, and Real Digital Media product families. Netronome plans to make R1000-based networking solutions, security appliances, and edge cloud computing systems. Quixant will deploy the SoC in a lower-end version of its V1000-based QXi-7000 casino gaming system called the QXi-7000 LITE.

Ibase SI-323-N and IB918 
(click image to enlarge)
Ibase Technology offered more details on an upcoming 3.5-inch IB918 SBC and SI-323-N signage player. The IB918 supports either R1000 model. You can load up to 32GB DDR4-2400 including ECC memory.

The IB918 SBC offers a SATA III port and an M.2 M-key interface for storage as well as 2x M.2 slots for 2280/2230 card expansion. Other features include 2x HDMI, 1x eDP, 2x GbE, and 4x USB 3.1 ports. There’s a 12-24V DC input and an optional heatsink with fan.

The SI-323-N digital signage player, which follows Ibase’s V1000-based SI-324, uses the higher-end R1606G model with the faster Vega GPU. The fanless system offers 3x HDMI 2.0 ports with independent audio and hardware EDID support.

Further information

The AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 will be available to ODMs and OEMs worldwide later in this current second quarter. More information may be found in AMD’s R1000 announcement and product page.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on April 16.

AMD | www.amd.com

MCUs and Processors Vie for Embedded Mindshare

Performance Push

Today’s crop of high-performance microcontrollers and embedded processors provide a rich continuum of features, functions and capabilities. Embedded system designers have many choices in both categories but the dividing line between the two can be blurry.

By Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

At one time the world of microcontrollers and the world of microprocessors were clearly separate. That’s slowly changed over the years as the high-performance segment of microcontrollers have become more powerful. And the same time, embedded processors have captured ever more mindshare and market share that used to be exclusively owned by the MCU camp. The lines blurred even further once most all MCUs started using Arm-based processor cores.

All the leading MCU vendors have a high-performance line of products, some in the 200 MHz and up range. Moreover, some application-specific MCU offerings are designed specifically for the performance needs of a particular market segment—automotive being the prime example. In some cases, these high end MCUs are vying for design wins against embedded processors that meet the same size, weight and power requirements as MCUs. In this article, we’ll examine some of the latest and greatest products and technologies on both sides.

High Performance MCU

An example of an MCU vendor’s high-performance line of products is Cypress Semiconductor’s FM4. FM4 is a portfolio of 32-bit, general-purpose, high performance MCUs based on the Arm Cortex-M4 processor with FPU and DSP functionality. FM4 microcontrollers operate at frequencies up to 200 MHz and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for motor control, factory automation and home appliance applications. The portfolio delivers low-latency, reliable, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication required for Industry 4.0 using network-computing technologies to advance design and manufacturing.

The FM4 MCU supports an operating voltage range of 2.7 V to 5.5 V. The devices incorporate 256 KB to 2 MB flash and up to 256 KB RAM. The fast flash memory combined with a flash accelerator circuit (pre-fetch buffer plus instruction cache) provides zero-wait-state operation up to 200 MHz. A standard DMA and an additional descriptor-based DMA (DSTC), each with an independent bus for data transfer, can be used to further offload the CPU. Figure 1 shows the FM4-216-ETHERNET, a development platform for developing applications using the Arm Cortex-M4-based FM4 S6E2CC MCU.

Figure 1
The FM4-216-ETHERNET is a development platform for developing applications using the Arm Cortex-M4-based FM4 S6E2CC MCU.

The high-performance line of MCUs from ST Microelectronics is its STM32H7 series. An example product from that series is the STM32H753 MCU with Arm’s highest-performing embedded core (Cortex-M7). According to ST Micro it delivers a record performance of 2020 CoreMark/856 DMIPS running at 400 MHz, executing code from embedded flash memory.

Other innovations and features implemented by ST further boost performance.These include the Chrom-ART Accelerator for fast and efficient graphical user-interfaces, a hardware JPEG codec that allows high-speed image manipulation, highly efficient Direct Memory Access (DMA) controllers, up to 2 MB of on-chip dual-bank flash memory with read-while-write capability, and the L1 cache allowing full-speed interaction with off-chip memory. Multiple power domains allow developers to minimize the energy consumed by their applications, while plentiful I/Os, communication interfaces, and audio and analog peripherals can address a wide range of entertainment, remote-monitoring and control applications.

Last year STMicro announced its STM32H7 high-performing MCUs are designed with the same security concepts as the Platform Security Architecture (PSA) from Arm announced at that time. This PSA framework on the STM32H7 MCUs are combined with STM32-family enhanced security features and services. ST’s STM32H7 MCU devices integrate hardware-based security features including a True Random-Number Generator (TRNG) and advanced cryptographic processor, which will simplify protecting embedded applications and global IoT systems against attacks like eavesdropping, spoofing or man-in-the-middle interception.

MCU Runs Linux OS

One dividing line that remains between MCUs and microprocessors is their ability to run major operating systems. While most embedded processors can run OSes like Linux, most MCUs lack the memory architecture required to do so. Breaking that barrier, in February MCU vendor Microchip Technology unveiled a System on Module (SOM) featuring the SAMA5D2 microprocessor. The ATSAMA5D27-SOM1 contains the recently released ATSAMA5D27C-D1G-CU System in Package (SiP) (Figure 2).

Figure 2
The Arm Cortex-A5-based SAMA5D2 SiP is available in three DDR2 memory sizes (128 Mb, 512 Mb and 1 Gb) and optimized for bare metal, RTOS and Linux implementation

The SOM simplifies design by integrating the power management, non-volatile boot memory, Ethernet PHY and high-speed DDR2 memory onto a small, single-sided PCB. There is a great deal of design effort and complexity associated with creating an industrial-grade MPU-based system running a Linux operating system. The SOM integrates multiple external components and eliminates key design challenges around EMI, ESD and signal integrity. …

Read the full article in the August 337 issue of Circuit Cellar

Don’t miss out on upcoming issues of Circuit Cellar. Subscribe today!

Note: We’ve made the October 2017 issue of Circuit Cellar available as a free sample issue. In it, you’ll find a rich variety of the kinds of articles and information that exemplify a typical issue of the current magazine.

Automotive Echo Cancellation Available for NXP Processors

NXP Semiconductors has announced a new echo cancellation noise reduction solution (ECNR) that significantly reduces the problem of noisy voice communications and provides carmakers with a consumer pleasing, hands-free calling experience. The cost-effective solution combines innovative ECNR software that can be easily ported onto NXP i.MX processors and NXP’s leading car radio tuners and DSPs. The new NXP ECNR solution is also ITU-T P1110 and CarPlay pre-certified.
Echo and noise can make communication on the road difficult. Echo occurs when the speakers within a car transmit a voice signal from an incoming call, which subsequently ricochets through the vehicle and returns to the microphone. This causes the caller to hear their own voice, which is distracting and can result in broken communications. Additionally, road noise from fans, exhaust, tires, windows and passengers can infiltrate calls and render them unintelligible, ultimately disrupting the driving experience and causing frustration.

The new NXP ECNR solution deals with both problems by removing echoes and filtering out unwanted noise from the cockpit to enhance the sound quality of conversations. Since the ECNR solution can be ported to NXP chipsets and is ITU-T P1110 and CarPlay pre-certified, it can reduce carmakers’ R&D expenses and speed up the design cycle.

NXPs SAF775x integrates up to 2 AM/FM tuners, radio processing, an automotive audio hub and an open HiFi2 core for advanced audio algorithms. SAF775x has rich analog and digital interfaces, flexible audio mixer and filter structure, and core audio processing algorithms. The SAF775x family radio-audio one chip is a market-proven solution and has been successfully designed in major automotive OEM platforms.

i.MX applications processors offer a feature and performance-scalable multicore platform that includes single, dual and quad-core families based on the Arm® v7-A and Arm v8 architecture based solutions with powerful processing for neural networks, advanced graphics, machine vision, video, audio, voice and safety-critical requirements.

The ECNR algorithm is running on the HiFi2 core of SAF775x, ready be activated by a key code.

NXP Semiconductors | www.nxp.com