Storyboard Suite accelerates UI performance on the Renesas RZ/A1

The best and most user-friendly user interfaces are those that are responsive and have great performance. One of the biggest hits to performance comes from drawing graphics. In order to boost speed and reduce User Interface (UI) lag, many platforms, including the Renesas RZ/A1, provide a solution to optimize how graphics are drawn.

The Renesas RZ/A1 is built upon an ARM A9 running at 400Mhz, which provides good performance when rendering only with a software framebuffer. However, on the H and M variants of the platform, users can leverage even more impressive 2D acceleration, either through OpenVG or the Renesas Graphics Architecture (RGA) API interface.

The RGA library allows high-speed drawing using 2D hardware acceleration and provides an API to boost graphics performance, such as image and font blending. While integration requires development time to configure and optimize, there are desirable performance advantages that make it worth the effort.

Storyboard Suite 5.1 reduces this effort and allows you to take advantage of the 2D acceleration provided by the RGA library, without having to worry about additional work and configuration.

Enhances existing Storyboard application performance

If you have a Storyboard application already, moving to a Renesas RZ board using RGA is as simple as selecting a different runtime to build with. After that, you’ll notice some significant performance improvements as your application takes advantage of native 2D hardware acceleration.

The video below shows the performance improvements when taking advantage of Storyboard utilizing both software rendering and the RGA. Both provide solid performance, but there are obvious advantages with the RGA.

To compare the differences in performance, we ran some tests on an RZ/A1H board with and without using RGA. Here are the results with the application’s frame rate capped at 60 frames per second (FPS). We saw performance gains of 100-200% using RGA.

Software rendering frame rate (FPS) RGA frame rate (FPS)
Medical Demo 17 34
Oven Demo 24 60
Bubble Mark 20 60

We ran these tests by deploying an RGA and non-RGA runtime to the same board, no additional modifications to the application code or build settings were necessary. These are the same runtimes provided for your use in your development environment.

Reduces effort for new UI applications

If you’re building a new Storyboard application for boards that support RGA, the benefits are even better. Not only do you get the performance improvements stated above, Storyboard reduces the development time and effort.

We’ve done the research, development, and testing using RGA for you, so all you need to do is focus on making your UI applications as awesome as possible. This could save you weeks to months of development and integration effort.

Saving development time and improving performance—there’s no reason why Storyboard isn’t the best choice for developing UIs on Renesas platforms.

To try out a Storyboard application for your RZ/A1 platform, download our latest demo image and experience the performance first-hand.

Download the Storyboard Renesas RZA1H demo image

If you don’t have Storyboard Suite, start a free trial now and see how easy it is to create beautiful embedded UIs from concept to production.

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Try it now! Storyboard demo image for the Renesas RZA1

Want to be able to quickly and easily interact with Storyboard Suite applications on your hardware? Our pre-built and packaged demos make it easy for you to test drive multi-market applications designed for specific hardware platforms, letting you experience the powerful controls and smooth animations that create beautiful UIs and rich user experiences.

A washing machine that makes laundry enjoyable?

Intuitive and beautiful user interfaces make us want to interact with the appliances and gadgets that are a part of our everyday lives. The Storyboard Suite smart washing machine application is a shining example of an engaging user experience. Drill down into operational settings, track progress through cycles, and delight in the modern aesthetic expected by today’s technology-savvy user. It might even make you want to do laundry.

This demo image includes everything you need to get up and running on a Renesas RZA1 platform in minutes.

Download the Storyboard Renesas RZA1H demo image

To try Storyboard Suite for yourself, start your free trial now and see how easy it is to create beautiful embedded UIs from concept to production.

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Build better embedded UIs. Meet Storyboard Suite 5.1.

Earlier this year we introduced Storyboard Suite 5.0, which gave UI designers more control than ever over the aesthetic and user experience of embedded application projects. The release included a lot of new functionality and features for both designers and engineers, especially in Storyboard Designer.

We’ve recently made enhancements and updates to Storyboard with our latest release, Storyboard Suite 5.1. Don’t worry, these updates won’t trip you up much from a functionality perspective. We haven’t moved around the elements in the UI or introduced anything to the workflow that will require you to invest too much time to get up to speed. We’ve tweaked some things behind the scenes to make UI development work a little smoother and faster. More importantly, we’ve extended the reach of embedded application development by introducing support for new platforms and technologies, making it easier to deliver Storyboard applications across markets and hardware.

Storyboard Designer 5.1 updates and enhancements

Here’s what’s new in Storyboard Designer:

  • Eclipse – Storyboard Designer is now based on the Eclipse Framework NEON 4.6.
  • x64 – Storyboard Designer has been switched from a 32-bit application to 64-bit on all hosted platforms.
  • Cloning – When cloning an object, we now check to see if a control with the new name already exists, so that you don’t have to.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts to group and ungroup – We’ ve introduced the concept of grouping and un-grouping through a new action bound to Control/Command + G and Control/Command + SHIFT + G.
  • SCP – The SCP command execution now has the ability to write output to the console.
  • Lua Debugger – Storyboard Designer now queries the Lua debug port number in use and passes it into the runtime.

Increased platform support

With each release, we continue to increase the reach of Storyboard Suite across platforms, making it easier for our customers to work with a wide range of target hardware. Here’s what’s new in Storyboard 5.1:

  • NXP i.MX8 – Take advantage of the powerful combination of Storyboard Suite and the NXP i.MX8.
  • QNX 7.0 SDP swrender and OpenGL runtime – Develop high-performance, innovative, and secure applications for the new QNX 7.0 SDP.
  • ST Accordo5 Wayland OpenGL runtime – Deliver cutting edge in-car experiences with Storyboard Suite for the ST Accordo5.
  • Wind River VxWorks – Combine Storyboard Suite with the safety and security of the VxWorks real-time OS to bring world-class applications to market.
  • Renesas RZ/A1 RGA– Storyboard 5.1 fully supports the Renesas Graphics Architecture (RGA) library to deliver impressive application performance for the RZ/A1 platform.

Try Storyboard Suite 5.1 for yourself! Start your free trial now and see how easy it is to create beautiful embedded UIs from concept to production, on more platforms than ever before.

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See us at Microchip MASTERs in Phoenix

Microchip MASTERs is just a couple of days away (August 16-19, in Phoenix, AZ), and we’re busy finalizing, flashing, and packing some really cool demos for you to see and interact with. This show provides a great opportunity to learn and share the best in embedded design and development.

We’ll be there to showcase the latest in HMI user interface (UI) development, including the innovative Storyboard Suite platform that lets designers and developers work side-by-side to create amazing user experiences on a wide range of Microchip platforms. Drop by our booth for a chat and a Storyboard demo.

Multi-market demos – whether you’re in the medical, smart home, industrial or consumer/white goods industry, there’s an application of interest in the Crank Software booth. In advance of the show, you can download demo images for different Microchip platforms here to get a preview of what we’ll be showing. We will also be showcasing a brand new medical demo on the Microchip SAMA5D2 that includes blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen, and temperature monitoring, as well as ECG display.

Storyboard Suite demos – want to see us build a UI while you drink your coffee? Nik, our awesome field applications ninja, will walk you through the entire UI creation process, from Adobe Photoshop to deploying and debugging on a real target.

We’re expecting Microchip MASTERs to be very busy, so drop an email to Nik to set up a time to chat and see Storyboard Suite in action.

Meet Nik

Try it now! Storyboard demo image for the Microchip SAMA5D4

Want to be able to quickly and easily interact with Storyboard Suite applications on your hardware? Our pre-built and packaged demos make it easy for you to test drive multi-market applications designed for specific hardware platforms, letting you experience the powerful controls and smooth animations that create beautiful UIs and rich user experiences.

Microchip SAMA5D4 demo for white goods, home automation, and even the fitness industry!

This image includes everything you need to get up and running on a Microchip SAMA5D4 platform in minutes, offering the following demos:

  • Smart washing machine – drill down into operational settings and track progress through cycles
  • Treadmill – play with speed & incline controls, browse through pre-programmed courses, and immerse yourself in the run with engaging terrain video
  • Home automation – play with temperature controls, check out local weather, and customize lighting throughout the floor plan

Also included are the instructions you need to easily and quickly get the demo running on your own Microchip SAMA5D4 platform.

Download the Storyboard Microchip SAMA5D4 demo image

To try Storyboard Suite for yourself, start your free trial now and see how easy it is to create beautiful embedded UIs from concept to production.

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