Yuri Electric Co.'s Kaki Pi Packs a Renesas RZ/V2H for High-Performance Edge AI Robotics and More

Named for the Japanese persimmon, the Kaki Pi aims to drive autonomous robots, human service robots, and anything needing edge AI smarts.

Japanese robotics specialist Yuri Electric Co., Ltd. has become the first to announce a single-board computer (SBC) built around the recently-launched Renesas RZ/V2H edge artificial intelligence (edge AI) processor: the Raspberry Pi-inspired Kaki Pi.

"Amidst the inevitability of a declining birthrate, an aging population, and a declining population, the fields of mobility and robotics are rapidly growing in order to build a sustainable future," says Yuri Denki's Masato Kuichi, in translation, in an announcement brought to our attention by CNX Software. "The Renesas RZ/V2H not only has an excellent brain that can perform efficient AI image processing with DRP-AI3, but also has a multi-core system that enables instantaneous processing. By releasing Kaki Pi, many engineers will be able to experience its performance."

The Kaki Pi has at its heart the recently-launched Renesas RZ/V2H, a chip that combines four 64-bit Arm Cortex-A55 CPU cores running at up to 1.1GHz (down from Renesas' stock 1.8GHz) with two Cortex-R8 cores running at up to 800MHz for real-time workloads, a 200MHz Cortex-M33 microprocessor "sub-core," and Renesas' latest in-house Dynamically Reconfigurable Processor (DRP) accelerator, the DRP-AI3, for edge AI workloads β€” delivering a claimed 80 tera-operations per second (TOPS) of compute under passive cooling, Renesas claims.

Elsewhere on the board are four MIPI Camera Serial Interface (CSI) inputs, a single MIPI Display Serial Interface (DSI) output, gigabit Ethernet with support for Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) with an optional adapter, two USB 3.0 ports, a microSD slot for storage, and a PCI Express Gen. 3 lane for high-speed connectivity to external hardware. There's also a Raspberry Pi-style 40-pin general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header with 26 user-addressable GPIO pins, UART, I2C, SPI, and I2S buses, while two CAN-FD buses are brought out to separate connectors.

As for the name? "In keeping with the industry custom of naming SBCs after fruits," the company explains, "we chose the persimmon, a representative Japanese fruit whose exports have been expanding in recent years, as the name." The Diospyros kaki, then, is what has given the Kaki Pi its name β€” following in the well-trodden footsteps of Raspberry Pi, Banana Pi, Orange Pi, Mango Pi, and others, who in turn were inspired by fruit-themed computing companies including Apple, BlackBerry, and Acorn.

More details on the device are available on the Kaki Pi website, and while Yuri Denki has yet to confirm pricing it has stated plans to begin shipping the boards in late April this year with a Linux distribution built via the Yocto project.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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