Renesas Electronics Announces New Ultimate-Low-Power RL78 Microcontrollers with Built-in LCD Controller

27th February 2012
ES Admin
Renesas Electronics, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the RL78/L12 Group of ultimate-low-power microcontrollers (MCUs) with on-chip liquid crystal display (LCD) controller that reduce current consumption by approximately 30 percent compared to earlier Renesas products.
The new 16-bit MCUs are designed for products equipped with small LCD panels, including portable household appliances, healthcare devices, building management systems, and industrial applications, that require improved user interfaces and ultimate low power.

To enable the design of improved power-efficient systems that incorporate enhanced human-machine interfaces, Renesas developed the ultimate low-power RL78/L12 Group of MCUs. The new MCUs combine proven LCD control technology from Renesas with the low power consumption and high performance of the RL78 Family of 16-bit MCUs. The new line-up complements Renesas' family of non-LCD RL78 devices, providing designers an expanded platform to innovate and leverage development investments. The RL78/L12 Group consists of 18 product versions with pin count ranging from 32- to 64-pins, and on-chip flash memory capacities ranging from 8 kilobytes (KB) to 32 KB. This new line continues Renesas' commitment to enabling a smart society by delivering power-efficient solutions for a range of portable applications.

Key features of the new RL78/L12 Group of MCUs:
(1) Power consumption among the lowest in the industry
The RL78/L12 devices take advantage of the ultimate-low-power technology associated with the RL78 Family. The new devices consume as little as 66 µA/MHz and can achieve a mere 0.57 µA while operating the real-time clock with full calendar function, low voltage detection circuit and maintaining 100 percent of RAM contents. In addition, the RL78/L12 MCUs feature a mode that halts the internal LCD-related operations of the MCU when the multi-segment LCD display is not in use, further reducing current consumption and boosting power efficiency.

(2) Expanded LCD segment count
The 64-pin version of the new line-up supports up to 280 LCD segments (Note 3), increasing the amount of information that can be displayed.

(3) Advanced LCD controller/driver
The new RL78/L12 Group supports up to 280 LCD segments in its 35×8 configuration and can operate from 1.6 V to 5.5 V power supply. The LCD controller provides three methods of generating LCD drive voltage—internal voltage boost, capacitor split, and external resistance division (Note 4)—all designed for reduced overall system power consumption. Compared with earlier Renesas products, the current consumption of the internal voltage boost method is approximately 35 percent lower. The capacitor split method is approximately 47 percent lower power, while the external resistance division method is approximately 30 percent lower. For products using battery drive, the internal voltage boost method in particular can make an important contribution to the battery life of the overall system.

Exhibition at Embedded World 2012
Renesas' RL78/L12 MCUs will be showcased at Embedded World 2012, to be held in Nuremberg, Germany from February 28 to March 1, 2012.

Renesas' new RL78/L12 Group of MCUs will be available in June 2012 in initial sample quantities. Mass production is scheduled to begin in August 2012 and is expected to reach a volume of 2,000,000 units per month in August 2013. (Availability is subject to change without notice.)

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