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Renesas introduces a new four-channel video decoder to help in-car cameras achieve economical circumnavigation applications

Jessie January 31, 2024

In-vehicle HD Link (AHL) delivers HD video using low-cost cables and connectors; It complements other Renesas in-vehicle safety systems.

Renesas Electronics (TSE: 6723), a global provider of semiconductor solutions, announced the launch of the RAA279974, the latest device in its in-vehicle High-Definition Link (AHL) portfolio, enabling automakers to transmit high-definition video over low-cost cables and connectors. The new RAA279974 quad-channel AHL video decoder can handle four input sources simultaneously, making it an economical solution for circumnavigation and multi-camera applications.

Renesas AHL technology is based on modulating analog signals to transmit video. Its frequency is 10 times lower than digital transmission solutions on the market today (the former is about 37 MHZ, the latter is 3GHz or more), giving it strong noise resistance and the ability to use unshielded twisted pair and standard connectors to achieve longer transmission distances (20-30 meters), while also supporting existing standard definition analog video cables and connectors. The use of unshielded twisted pair cables not only saves costs, but also makes it easier to wire in the car and weighs less, resulting in improved energy efficiency and performance. Digital links, such as SerDes, require highly shielded cables and high-end connectors that cost much more than AHL and may need to be replaced after five to seven years.

The introduction of the RAA279974 completes the AHL product family, which includes the RAA279971 single-channel AHL video encoder and the RAA279972 single-channel AHL video decoder. Given that most Oems want to support multiple cameras in their vehicles for applications such as round-view parking assist monitors, the RAA279974 is an important addition to the AHL product family. The AHL can be paired with R-Car vehicle SOCs, RH850 MCUS, vehicle PMIC and analog components to cost-effectively implement a wide range of safety functions in a wide range of vehicles. Renesas combines these products to create multiple "portfolios of success" that enable manufacturers to quickly implement pre-tested video designs.

Davin Lee, Vice President of the Analog & Connectivity Product Group, said: "Multi-camera-based security systems are fast becoming a must-have feature for many consumers. The AHL system enables our customers in the automotive segment to offer these features on all new vehicles, including economy models."

AHL brings strong noise resistance and excellent picture quality. Thanks to the basic characteristics of analog signals, AHL video transmission has superior anti-noise and anti-interference capabilities. While digital links can cause image loss due to any noise or interfaces, AHL will retain good real-time images in such environments, providing a more secure solution.

Key features of AHL:

  • Supports resolutions from VGA to 720p/60 or 1080p/30, with the flexibility to achieve non-standard vertical resolution (free from the limitations of the 16:9 standard resolution of TV video)
  • The MIPI-CSI2, BT656 and DVP input and output provide flexible interfaces to support a wide range of image sensors
  • AHL does not require the compression steps of Ethernet-like systems, so there is no video latency
  • Only 27MHz crystal clock; The internal PLL generates the clock frequency required for higher resolution, thereby reducing costs
  • AHL has passed UTP cable-based BCI and CISPR25 EMC/EMI tests
  • MIPI-CSI2 output with virtual channels allows 4 video channels to be sent to the SoC via a single data bus interface (thus saving input ports on the SoC)

Supply information

Four-channel RAA279974AHL decoder samples and evaluation boards are now available. Renesas also offers the RTKA279974ZK0000BU Camera Kit evaluation system, which includes four AHL cameras with integrated RAA279971 AHL encoders. For more information, please visit:

About Renesas Electronics

Renesas Electronics (TSE: 6723), technology makes life easier and is committed to building a safer, smarter and more sustainable future. As a global microcontroller provider, Renesas combines expertise in embedded processing, analog, power and connectivity to provide complete semiconductor solutions. The successful portfolio accelerates the market for automotive, industrial, infrastructure and iot applications, empowering billions of connected smart devices to improve the way people work and live.

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