Renesas Electronics Lowers the Bar for Ultra-Low Power Microcontrollers with its New RX200 32-Bit MCU Series

1st March 2011
ES Admin
Renesas Electronics today introduced the first products in the new RX200 Series of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) with embedded Flash memory that extend its very successful RX MCU family into the realm of ultra-low power and wide-voltage range operation.
Two years ago, Renesas Electronics launched the RX600 series of extremely high-performance and high-connectivity 32-bit MCUs. Today, the RX family is extended by the RX200 series down this vital path which satisfies increasing demand for ultra-low power, low-voltage embedded MCU applications such as smart meters, portable healthcare devices, smartphones, intelligent sensors, climate control, and almost all portable battery-operated devices. Additionally, the RX200 MCUs are especially well suited to appliances as they operate up to 5.5 volts, comply with the IEC 60730 appliance safety standard (see Note 1), and have specialized motor control capabilities.

The RX200 and RX600 series of MCUs share the same powerful 32-bit CISC RX CPU core as well as many common peripherals for easy migration within the RX Family, re-using the same firmware, compiler, debugger, and development environment.

The first MCUs in the RX200 series are in the RX210 group, all with a maximum operating frequency of 50 megahertz producing 78 Dhrystone million instructions per second with zero wait-states from Flash memory while operating from 2.7 V to 5.5 V and consuming just 0.21 mA/DMIPS at 50 MHz. A special multi-stage internal voltage regulator scales down power consumption, allowing the RX210 to efficiently operate up to 32 MHz at just 1.8 V, and up to 20 MHz at just 1.62 V. Internal Flash memory may be erased and reprogrammed, and internal analogue peripherals continue to function even when the operating voltage is as low as 1.62 V. These characteristics make the RX200 MCUs ideal for low-power and portable battery-operated applications with their extreme power efficiency while active, and minimal current consumption while in deep standby at only 1.3 microamperes with the real-time clock running and the ability to wake up the CPU at programmed intervals if desired.

Many features that support the IEC 60730 appliance safety standard are designed into the silicon to ensure data and code integrity, clock stability, and proper signal sampling. This removes a large burden from the firmware, and provides immediate and reliable security. For example, a marching data test pattern is automatically swept through SRAM and confirmed in the background, system clocks are flagged if they operate outside a pre-determined frequency range, the analogue-to-digital converters have self-test and positive-connection test capability, and a cyclic redundancy check unit checks the data flowing through serial channels.

The initial release of devices in the RX210 group provide Flash memory from 128 KB to 512 KB, an 8 KB E2 data flash with 100,000 erase cycles, and up to 64 KB of SRAM. Many key peripherals are included, such as fast 1 μsec 12-bit ADCs that feature three sample-hold circuits and are linked to sophisticated timer systems; serial channels including USART and I2C interfaces; a full-function RTC with three tamper-detection inputs; analogue comparators; 10-bit digital-to-analogue converters a temperature sensor; an optional CPU external bus; direct memory access controllers; a special event link controller to sequence events across peripherals without disturbing the CPU; on-chip high- and low-speed oscillators, and complete system supervisor functions. There are LQFP and TFLGA package options as small as 7 x 7 millimetre with 64, 80, and 100 pins.

The RX210 group of MCUs are sampling now to lead customers, and further product details will be announced later this year. Renesas Electronics will continue to introduce additional devices in the RX200 series which expand choices of package type, memory size, connectivity options, and mixed-signal peripherals.

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