Renesas to demo dual core ARM Cortex A9 SoC at MWC

First with PowerVR SGX MP graphics

RENESAS IS MOVING into a lot of market spaces and its mobile division has announced that it will be showing its new SH-Mobile APE5R ARM Cortex A9 SoC at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. The SH-Mobile APE5R is the first Cortex A9 SoC to use Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX MP multi-core graphics core and it’ll be interesting to see how powerful it is.

Renesas is not new in the ARM SoC business, but most of its previous generations have seen limited usage in handsets for the Japanese market, but it seems like the company is set to change this with the APE5R. For starters it has a pretty impressive clock speed at 1.2GHz which is one of the fastest Cortex A9 implementations to date. The press release doesn’t go into too many details with regards to the rest of the processor part of the APE5R, but it does go to some length to describe all the advantage of the graphics core.

So what we’re looking at is an implementation of the PowerVR SGX 5XT MP graphics core from Imagination Technologies, a company that offers some of the fastest graphics cores for ARM based SoC’s in the market today. Although no actual performance figures for the 3D part are being quoted, this is in fact the same graphics core that Sony’s next generation PSP will feature (albeit in a quad core capacity) and Apple’s next gen iPhone is also said to feature the same graphics core. That said, it all depends on how good Renesas is at selling its solution if we’re going to end up seeing it in any consumer devices.

Some of the features the APE5R include 1080p60 video decoding and encoding in H.264, 1080p stereoscopic 3D video and it also has a dedicated audio subsystem which Renesas claims will help extend the battery life during audio playback. Combine this with Renesas recently announced triple-mode LTE modem and you could build some pretty impressive mobile devices and we’re sure Renesas will be demoing its entire product line at the MWC.

In related news, Renesas will also be demoing the first device based around its older APE4 Cortex A8 SoC that runs MeeGo. This will be done together with Nomovok who’s designed the UI for the demo. Unfortunately it seems like Renesas and Nomovok are a little bit late here, as Nokia seems to have lost interest in MeeGo which leaves Intel as the only company to push the platform and we all know that Intel is only interested in MeeGo on its own x86 processors and couldn’t care less how well it runs on an ARM based SoC from Renesas.S|A

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