Renesas launches cloud-based environment to accelerate automotive AI software development

Renesas has launched a new cloud-based development environment aimed at streamlining the software design process for automotive AI engineers. The new platform, AI Workbench, is an integrated virtual development environment that empowers automotive AI engineers to design, simulate and fine-tune their automotive software – all within the cloud.

With this environment, engineers can immediately begin designing automotive software by leveraging Microsoft Azure services including Azure Compute, IaaS services, Microsoft Entra ID and Azure Security. Instead of installing tools on a PC or obtaining an evaluation board, they can perform tasks such as performance evaluation, debugging and verification using simulation tools online. This approach aligns with the “Shift-Left” approach, which enables software creation and testing earlier in the design cycle, even before the actual hardware becomes available. For example, it is possible to start developing AI-enabled application software to support ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) and autonomous driving for the upcoming fifth-generation R-Car System on Chip (SoC) prior to the availability of hardware samples. This environment will serve as a unified development platform for designing and testing Renesas’ scalable automotive SoCs and microcontrollers (MCUs), regardless of product type or application.

“Cloud-based development is a secure and cost-effective method to address the increasing complexities of today’s embedded projects. The collaboration between Renesas and Microsoft aims to tackle this challenge and accelerate the digital transformation of the automotive industry,” said Ulrich Homann, Corporate Vice President & Distinguished Architect, Cloud + AI, Microsoft. “With Renesas’ AI Workbench, developers can now efficiently build and test software for a myriad applications using Renesas SoCs in a cloud-based environment powered by Azure.”

The AI Workbench includes the following four functional blocks today. Renesas plans to enhance its offering in the future with additional features such as selected functionality or customisation options tailored to support various development processes.

The AI Workbench will be available in January 2024 in limited preview. Renesas plans to expand availability of the AI Workbench from Q2 2024 and build similar environments for other major cloud services in the future. Additionally, Renesas will consider integrating tools provided by partners of the R-Car Consortium into the cloud environment for improved efficiency. More information about the AI Workbench is available at:

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