Renesas Electronics, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced the addition of new product versions with larger memory capacity to the RX111 Group of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) ideal for applications such as healthcare devices, industrial equipment, and building automation systems.
Renesas’ existing RX111 Group product lineup offer package pin counts of 36 to 64 pins, flash memory capacity of 16 KB to 128 KB, and RAM capacity of 8 KB to 16 KB. The new product versions extend the flash memory capacity range to 512 KB and the RAM capacity range to 64 KB. The total number of product versions will grow from 31 to 46, strengthening the RX111 Group product lineup overall.
Products such as healthcare devices, sensors for industrial applications, and measuring and detection devices for building automation systems require high computational processing performance due to the need to perform operations such as filtering at high speed, and they also need low power consumption to achieve extended battery life. The RX111 Group delivers functionality and performance that precisely match these requirements, and it has achieved wide adoption across a wide variety of systems.
Recently, in fields such as healthcare devices, sensors for industrial applications, and measuring and detection devices for building automation systems, there has been a trend toward the use of common components as a way to reduce cost while pursuing differentiation through extended functionality and improved safety. At the same time, software design has become more complex, and more programs are needed for control. As a result, developers selecting MCUs need both high performance and increased flash memory capacity. Unavoidably, this has forced them to choose MCUs with high power consumption, which goes against the desires of the market because it reduces battery life and requires extended power supply capacity.
Responding swiftly to this new market opportunity, Renesas is extending the range of product offerings in the RX111 Group of 32-bit MCUs with high performance of up to 50 DMIPS by extending the maximum flash memory capacity to 512 KB and the maximum RAM capacity to 64 KB, four times the maximum previously available. Current consumption during operation is 64 µA/DMIPS, and the standby voltage remains an ultralow 440 nA while retaining the contents of the on-chip RAM and register values.
Moving forward, control programs are expected to increase in size due to the trend in healthcare devices toward adding battery charging functionality to the USB interface, which was previously used only for communication with the host; the trend in industrial sensors toward adding support for functional safety, to ensure safe operation even when a failure occurs, or for multiple communication functions to interface with the Internet of Things (IoT); and the trend in flow and current meters for building automation systems toward battery powered devices with wireless communication capabilities. This means that the standby power consumption and wakeup time are becoming increasingly important factors. Also, the trend toward combining in a single program display and control functions for multiple overseas markets is causing control programs to become ever larger.
Renesas is adding new products with increased memory capacity to the RX111 Group, which has a well-established reputation in the fields of healthcare devices, sensors for industrial applications, and measuring and detection devices for building automation systems. These new additions strengthen the product lineup overall and respond to the changing needs of the market.
1) A variety of memory capacities to match different applications
The product lineup is being extended with the addition to the previous 31 product versions with package pin counts of 36- to 64-pins and flash memory/RAM capacity of 16 KB/8 KB to 128 KB/16 KB. Renesas has launched 15 new product versions with package pin counts of 48- or 64-pins and flash memory/RAM capacity of 256 KB/32 KB, 384 KB/64 KB, or 512 KB/64 KB. This brings to total lineup of 46 product versions.
2) CPU core combining high performance and low power consumption
Among general-purpose MCUs built around the RXv1 core, the RX111 Group delivers both top-class ultralow power consumption and excellent processing performance. At an operating frequency of 32 MHz, processing performance is 1.56 Dhrystone MIPS (DMIPS)/MHz and power consumption is only 64 µA/DMIPS.
3) Special features that extend operation on battery power
The operating current of 64 µA/DMIPS and the current of 440 nA while retaining the contents of the RAM and register values in software standby mode are both among the lowest in the industry for 32-bit MCUs. Returning to normal operating mode from software standby mode takes a mere 4.8 µs. This means that during intermittent operation where switching between standby mode and normal operation occurs repeatedly, not only is the current consumption value reduced but current loss during wakeup from standby mode is reduced as well. Thus, it is possible to extend the operating duration of battery-powered products such as portable devices or healthcare devices.
Samples of the new RX111 MCUs are available now. Mass production is scheduled to begin in December 2014 and is expected to reach a scale of 500,000 units per month in January 2016. (Availability are subject to change without notice.)