Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today unveiled the RX64M Group of microcontrollers (MCUs), its first product in the flagship RX Family of 32-bit MCUs to be fabricated in a 40 nm process.
Based on the new RXv2 CPU core, which was announced in November 2013, the new MCU Group consists of 112 products running up to 120 megahertz (MHz) with zero wait state from the high-speed embedded flash memory and feature both the high-speed real-time performance as well as large memory capacities required by industrial applications and network equipment. The new MCUs offer system designers a path to quickly and efficiently develop high-performance, low-power industrial equipment that supports a wide range of communication functions.
“As more and increasingly diverse Internet of Things applications emerge, designers are looking at smarter embedded design to achieve the desired energy efficiencies and performance,” said Semir Haddad, Director of Product Marketing, Renesas Electronics America. “Leveraging the RXv2 CPU core, the new RX64M MCUs offer system designers working with Smart Factory and Smart Building applications a high-end MCU solution to address evolving power, performance and memory demands for their markets.”
With the expansion of the connected society and Internet of Things (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 miniaturization of application equipment, and to secure software from unauthorized 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.
Part of the RX Family, which covers a wide range of applications, from mid-range to high-end products, the RX64M MCUs provide a high-end MCU solution for applications that require the higher performance, on-chip memory and lower power. Since the new MCUs maintain compatibility with the existing product line, system designers working with current RX products can migrate easily to these new MCUs. Also, system designers who adopt the RX64M MCUs or other members of the RX family 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.
Key Features of the RX64M Group of MCUs:
(1) The adoption of a leading-edge 40 nm process provides not only increased on-chip memory capacities, but also lower power consumption and higher CPU performance
The RX64M Group of MCUs are fabricated in a leading-edge 40 nm process. Not only these MCU embedded up to 4 MB of the industry's fastest flash memory (120 MHz operation with no wait states) and up to 512 KB of SRAM, but at the same time they also reduce operating power consumption by 40 percent compared to the earlier Renesas RX MCUs. Furthermore, by adopting the new-architecture RXv2 core, these devices will achieve CPU performance of a total of 504 Coremark, which is 1.6 times that of the previous generation devices and defines a new threshold for embedded MCU systems in overall. Thus the RX64M devices improve both real-time performance and low-power performance, and can contribute to cost reductions by reducing the need for external memory.
(2) Extensive set of peripheral functions for industrial applications
In addition to full complement of communications functions, the RX64M Group of MCUs adds new PWM timer functions. Furthermore, the devices are highly backward compatible, as they feature the functions included in the existing Renesas RX600 series of MCUs. By including motor control timer functions and an IEEE 1588-compliant Ethernet function, which is required by industrial applications, the new MCUs can improve inter-system synchronization performance and provide flexible support for all types of motor control. In addition to the vast amount of general-purpose serial interfaces, 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 QSPI (quad serial peripheral interface). Furthermore, they include an encoding function to increase reliability and robustness of those communications functions.
(3) Powerful tools to support hardware and software development
For a quick development start, the RX64M MCUs will be supported by a robust development tool environment from both Renesas and third-party tool vendors that make up the RX ecosystem, such as Micrium, Express Logic, CMX, SEGGER, and FreeRTOS. Both the Eclipse-based e2 studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) from Renesas as well as the Embedded Workbench for RX (EWRX) IDE from IAR Systems will provide complete build and debug support for the RX64M. In addition to the Renesas Starter Kit for RX64M, which comes with a Renesas E1 On-Chip debugger (JTAG based), Renesas provides the RX Driver Package, which is a collection of driver software for the various on-chip peripherals. Renesas will also provide an interactive, GUI-based code generation tool that is integrated into the e2 studio IDE and allows the user to automatically generate initialization and driver code for the peripherals on the MCU. These software tools, which Renesas will start introducing sequentially from March 2014 will contribute significantly to reducing the number of development steps and costs required for hardware and software development on the RX64M.