Renesas Electronics Unveils New Solution to Increase Productivity and Security for Industrial Internet of Things Applications

New RX700 Microcontroller Series Expands 32-Bit RX Family to Offer High 240 MHz Operation, Security Features and 4 MB of Large Memory Capacity

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — January 27, 2015 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the availability of the RX71M Group as the new flagship product in the RX Family of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs). Developed for use in industrial equipment, the new series doubles the CPU operating frequency to 240 megahertz (MHz) from the 120 MHz of previous products and is available with up to 4 MB of on-chip flash memory.

“With the advent of the Industrial Internet of Things, when connectivity is being added to more and more industrial equipment, security is of critical importance in embedded design,” said Ritesh Tyagi, vice president marketing, Renesas Electronics America. “Providing our customers with innovative solutions that bring increased productivity and security is a priority for Renesas. The new 32-bit RX71M Series runs at higher speeds than previous generations and offers robust security features to prevent against security threats.”

Systems are more complex and larger in scale than previous versions while manufacturers are eager to adopt product development platforms to address increased development times and increased costs. On-chip flash memory MCUs are extensively used in midrange industrial equipment that are popularly priced in order to achieve a good balance between performance and system cost. M2M communication in industrial equipment has created demand for MCUs that are optimized for a range of performance levels, from sensor nodes operating at around 30 MHz to controllers operating at 200 MHz and above, and also for scalability in order to reduce the man-hours required for software and hardware development.

Recently, industrial customers are increasingly dispersing their system development efforts among multiple facilities and pursuing joint development arrangements with partners with strengths in specific technologies. This will result in reduced development costs of the new and advanced functions associated with transitioning to the IoT while increasing efficiencies and reducing development times. Such dispersed development and joint development approaches could bring risks to the customer’s own core technologies (such as important algorithms) such as leaks or unauthorized duplication. It has therefore become necessary to pursue development in a way that ensures one’s own software resources are protected.

Industrial equipment demands real-time performance since the sequence of processing steps, from data input to arithmetic processing to output of results must always finish within a set duration. When an MCU’s CPU operating speed is faster than the speed at which the flash memory can be accessed, dedicated high-speed on-chip SRAM can be added so that algorithms that require real-time processing can be run from the high-speed SRAM, but using dedicated SRAM in addition to the on-chip flash memory increases the cost. Furthermore, in cases where the on-chip memory capacity of previous flash microcontrollers was inadequate, it was necessary to add expensive high-speed SRAM or flash memory externally, increasing the BOM cost and the board mounting area.

Renesas developed the new RX71M group with precisely these needs in mind.

A total of 112 product versions are available with package pin counts ranging from 100 to 177 pins and on-chip flash memory capacities from 2 MB to 4 MB.

Key features of the new RX71M group:

(1) Maximum operating frequency of RX Family lineup increased to 240 MHz, for a scalable range of products that contributes to reduced product development time and cost

- With the appearance of the RX71M, the RX Family includes in addition to the RX100 Series operating at 32 MHz, the RX200 Series operating at 50 MHz, and the RX600 Series operating at 120 MHz, the new RX700 Series operating at 240 MHz, which is double the previous maximum operating frequency.

- To smooth transitions among a wide range of products, the RX71M maintains backward compatibility with earlier RX Family products in aspects such as peripheral functions, development tools, and pin assignments.

- The RXv2 core delivers approximately 1.3 times the performance of the earlier RXv1 core. It maintains complete code compatibility (backward compatibility) with the RXv1, ensuring easy software portability.

- Drivers with support for Firmware Integration Technology (FIT) make porting software between RX microcontrollers even easier. Development time and cost can be reduced by up to 50% when porting program code between RX products. This helps customers in their efforts to develop products based on a common platform.

(2) Expanded functionality for ensuring code data confidentiality and preventing unauthorized copying from the development stage onward, which is increasingly important as the move toward IoT brings more diverse communication interfaces and development becomes increasingly globalized

- To support the increasing diversity of communication standards accompanying the trend toward IoT, the RX71M expands the list of supported communication interfaces beyond the earlier CAN and SPI to include SD Host Interface, USB High Speed (built into the PHY), and dual-channel Ethernet with IEEE 1588 support. This provides the connectivity with a wide variety of devices demanded in today’s industrial equipment.

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