32-bit general-purpose MCU enables the IoT

26th February 2014
Nat Bowers

Based on the RXv2 CPU core announced in November 2013, the RX64M microcontrollers have been announced by Renesas. The company's first product in the flagship RX 32-bit MCUs to be fabricated in a 40nm process, the MCUs offer system designers a path to quickly and efficiently develop high-performance, low-power industrial equipment that supports a wide range of communications functions.

Comprising 112 products running up to 120MHz with zero wait state from the 4MB of high-speed embedded flash, the RX64M group feature both the high-speed real-time performance as well as large memory capacities required by industrial applications and network equipment. The MCUs provide a high-end MCU solution for applications that require the higher performance, on-chip memory and lower power. Since they maintain compatibility with the existing product line, system designers working with current RX products can migrate easily to these MCUs. System designers who adopt the RX64M MCUs can take advantage of a powerful set of tools that support both software and hardware development, and these tools can contribute to reducing the number of steps in the development and testing process and to reducing total costs.

In addition to full complement of communications functions, the RX64M group of MCUs adds new PWM timer functions. By including motor control timer functions and an IEEE 1588-compliant Ethernet function, which is required by industrial applications, the MCUs can improve inter-system synchronisation performance and provide flexible support for all types of motor control. Additionally, these devices support high-speed communications functions such as two Ethernet MAC and two USB interfaces, supporting the device, host as well as OTG functions, an SD host interface, and a quad serial peripheral interface. Furthermore, they include an encoding function to increase reliability and robustness of those communications functions.

With the expansion of the connected society and IoT markets, there has been rapid growth in diverse IoT-related products such as connected network and industrial equipment used in factory automation and building automation, driving the need for greater CPU computing performance, improved real-time response and ever lower power. Smart Factory and Smart Building applications are also driving the demand for increased memory capacities, as the deployment of Ethernet, USB, and a wide range of other communications functions becomes more prevalent in these environments, to support all levels of factory communication from the plant level to the device level. Increased memory capacity will also play a key role in supporting further miniaturisation of application equipment and to secure software from unauthorised parties. Improved development efficiency has also become a critical issue to support the move toward reduced development periods even as the number of process steps and costs from development through testing for software and hardware with expanding capacities and scales increases. Renesas designed the new RX64M group of MCUs products to address these issues.

Samples of the RX64M MCUs are available now, with mass production scheduled to begin in August 2014.

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