Renesas Electronics Packs RX Punch into a Smaller Package to Support Cost-Sensitive Industrial and Consumer Applications

26th March 2012
Written by : ES Admin
Renesas Electronics today announced the availability of 12 new microcontrollers (MCUs) in the high-performance RX631 Group. The new devices bring the outstanding 1.65 Dhrystone MIPS (DMips) performance and advanced connectivity features of the RX631 MCUs in smaller 64- and 48-pin packages with smaller flash memory footprints of 256KB, 384KB and 512KB to serve cost and space constrained applications
Pin-to-pin and software compatible with others in the RX631 MCU Group, the new devices provide true single-chip solutions for demanding industrial applications such as building and factory automation, medical monitoring and therapy equipment, security and fire alarm systems, climate control, home appliances, communication gateways and point-of-sale devices. Moreover, thanks to the lower pin count and memory footprint, the new MCUs are also now suited to address consumer application like in gaming, PC peripherals, fitness and consumer medical application.

“We are seeing increased demand for solutions that will enable people to interact with their electronics devices more efficiently and conveniently whether at home or at work,” said Bernd Westhoff, Principal Engineer Product Management MCU Marketing at the Industrial Business Group of Renesas Electronics Europe. “By combining the high performance 165 DMIPS at 100 MHz operation of RX with built-in anti temper feature and USB connectivity in a small, inexpensive package, we can enable RX631 MCUs for a whole new range of consumer and industrial applications.”

The 32-bit RX central processing unit uses an enhanced Harvard architecture with separate instruction and operand busses going to both Flash and SRAM enabling simultaneous instruction fetch and memory writes which boosts performance and is ideal for bandwidth intensive applications such as digital signal processing. Instructions are fed into the CPU from 100MHz Flash and are processed by a 5-stage execution pipeline enabling single clock operations. The CPU also integrates a single precision 32-bit floating point unit, which performs complex non-linear math in fewer clock cycles, reduces code and data size, and simplifies code development. The multiply accumulate unit enables efficient digital signal processing. The RX register set consists of nine control registers, sixteen 32-bit general purpose registers, and a 48-bit accumulator register. There is a memory protection unit. The interrupt control unit enables ultra fast 5-cycle interrupt latency.

Advanced Features
The new MCUs the RX631 Group are equipped with one channel of USB 2.0 full-speed (Host, device and OTG) and one CAN channel. The products are offered with a rich set of communication, timer and analog peripherals including up to 12 A/D channels, a 10bit DAC and a real-time clock (RTC), which has a separate Vbat pin and built-in anti-tamper detection. In a 64-pin LQFP package, the RX631 provides a remarkable number of timers with the six-channel advanced MTU2, the, six-channel TPU, the four-channel CMT, the four-channel TMR, dual watchdog timers, WDT and IWDT. It also features numerous serial communication channels, USB, CAN, six SCI, two SPI, and one I2C. Four channels of DMA and a Data Transfer Controller make it easy to handle transfers with peripherals and make sure that the CPU is used efficiently.

Many functional enhancements serve to reduce system cost and power consumption, and increase system capabilities, including a pin for connection to an alternate voltage source (coin cell or super cap) to automatically power the RTC and a tamper-detection system within the RTC to time stamp an intrusion event from three independent sources. The RX631 devices also feature several integrated elements including an on-chip temperature sensor, on-chip 50MHz oscillator to boot up a system at high speed, on-chip voltage reference for the analog to digital converters, and on-chip data flash with up to 100K erase cycles and fine write/erase granularity at just 2-byte write and 32-byte erase to eliminate the need for an external EEPROM device.

Development Tools and Ecosystem Support
Since the rollout of the RX MCU family in 2009, Renesas Electronics has been steadily introducing new devices, features, tools and partnerships to expand the capabilities of the MCUs. Renesas Electronics supports the RX600 MCUs with a comprehensive hardware/software tool set from the company and third parties. Renesas Electronics offers the popular High-Performance Embedded Workshop (HEW) integrated development environment (IDE), which includes the RX-optimizing C/C++ compiler with integrated support for the low-cost E1 JTAG on-chip debugging tool, as well as the comprehensive E20 high-speed trace on-chip debugging tool.

The HEW IDE and Renesas Electronics' C/C++ compiler come with unlimited use for 60 days, and then the compiler size is limited to 128 KB thereafter. Third-party support for RTOS, middleware, and USB protocol stacks is available from the global community of Renesas Electronics' partner vendors.

Availability
Sample quantities of the RX631 devices are available now. The devices are expected to be available in volume production beginning in Q4 2012. (Availability is subject to change without notice.)

Note 1
CAN - Controller Area Network. An automotive network specification proposed by Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany).

Note 2
Dhrystone is a test program used to evaluate computer arithmetic processing performance. The 165 DMIPS performance of these products was measured with the Dhrystone 2.1 benchmark.

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