Micros

Accurate analogue evaluation for industrial automation

25th March 2020
Lanna Cooper

Renesas Electronics has introduced a new Renesas Solution Starter Kit (RSSK) for developers working with the 32-bit RX23E-A microcontroller (MCU), which according to the company, features one of the most highly accurate Analogue Front Ends (AFE) in the industry.

The RX23E-A RSSK brings together hardware, software, and tools optimised for evaluating the MCU’s high precision 24-bit delta-sigma (ΔΣ) A/D converter with accuracy. The RSSK enables users without any AFE development expertise to accurately evaluate analogue characteristics to the nanovolt (nV) level, thereby reducing development workload and time-to-market.

“The RX23E-A for industrial IoT sensors is a single-chip device incorporating one of the industry’s most highly accurate AFEs, featuring less than 0.1% precision without calibration,” said Daryl Khoo, Vice President of Marketing, IoT Platform Business Division at Renesas.

“The new solution kit provides a shortcut for customers interested in evaluating and calibrating various sensor types to shorten the time required to develop more highly accurate sensing equipment.”

Evaluating analogue characteristics with high precision requires strong analogue design and development expertise, from evaluation board design to software development. In addition, identifying and analysing problems when the desired characteristics cannot be obtained is time consuming, making it difficult to bring products to market in a timely manner.

Designed to optimise evaluation of the RX23E-A AFE, the new RSSK evaluation board allows users to check characteristics of the 24-bit ΔΣ A/D converter with high accuracy, regardless of analogue development expertise levels.

The evaluation board is equipped with a plug-in terminal block to connect a variety of sensors without soldering, a thermocouple (temperature sensor) connector, and the reference junction compensation circuit required for thermocouple measurement applications.

By referencing thermocouple and weight measurement application software (both available for download on the Renesas website), users can immediately start their evaluation, thereby shortening the time needed to develop IoT sensor devices.

With the kit’s Graphical User Interface (GUI) tool, users can enter and change settings for a variety of AFE and A/D converter parameters, as well as display graphs and histograms of A/D conversion results. This simplifies the task of evaluating characteristics matched to the user’s system. With the GUI, users can check A/D conversion results in real-time in the same manner as using an oscilloscope.

The evaluation board can also be connected to an emulator to develop user applications. Power is supplied via the USB connection, so both evaluation and software development can be accomplished using a PC. Driver ICs for RS485 and CAN, which are widely used in industrial devices, are also mounted on the evaluation board, allowing the development of applications with industrial networking standards support.

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