Renesas Electronics Delivers Industry-Leading Power Efficiency and Digital Filtering Capabilities for Industrial Sensor and Healthcare Design With RX231 Microcontrollers

Devices Offer Optimal Combination of RXv2 CPU Core with Improved DSP/FPU and Low-Power Consumption Technology

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — June 30, 2015 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the development of the RX231 Group of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs), which offers industrial and healthcare designers an optimal combination of high performance with digital signal processing (DSP) and floating point unit (FPU), and low power consumption. The RX231 Group is ideal for applications that require high processing performance in environments with low current supply capacity, such as industrial sensors, healthcare devices, and wearable devices, and building automation devices such as thermostats.

“Industrial sensor and healthcare design in the era of IoT requires embedded solutions that not only deliver low power and fast processing, but also the peripherals to support safe and secure operation in the connected environment,” said Semir Haddad, Director of Marketing, Microcontroller and Microprocessor Solutions, Renesas Electronics America. “The RX231 devices enable designers to achieve this by delivering high performance, energy efficiency, DSP capabilities and a feature-rich architecture in an extremely low-power MCU.”

With industrial sensors and healthcare devices, processing can be time consuming and inefficient. Batteries for these types of systems are designed to support low current supply capacity, but during signal measurement, they must handle high processing loads, such as eliminating noise from digital signals and performing floating-point calculations. As the current consumption cannot be increased, designers cannot boost the processing speed by raising the operating frequency of the CPU. The long processing durations cause increased power loss for the entire system.

The new RX231 Group provides an optimal combination of power-efficient MCU technology and the high-performance RXv2 CPU core with powerful DSP/FPU operation capabilities. It minimizes current consumption and handles tasks involving heavy calculation loads such as digital filtering (Note 1) and floating-point operations considerably fast. This makes it possible to substantially reduce the power loss for the system as a whole during processing. For example, running the Renesas IIR digital filter consumes 10 percent less power and takes about half as long as was the case with earlier Renesas products. In addition, current consumption during standby is only 0.8 μA, approximately half the level of previous generations. With these top-class power performances, power efficiency is approximately doubled during intermittent operation, in which operating and standby states alternate. This allows extended operation on battery power.

Key Features of the RX231 Group:

(1) Excellent power efficiency through optimized combination of low-power leadership and high performance:

The RXv2 CPU core achieves a performance benchmark score of 4.16 CoreMark/MHz, 35-percent higher than the RX200 Series with the earlier RXv1 core. With operating speeds of 54 MHz, and approximate increases of 2X-4X in DSP performance and 6X in FPU performance, the new MCUs significantly reduce the time required for high-processing load tasks such as digital filtering.

The RX231 Group achieves the industry-leading current consumption, only taking 0.8 µA in standby mode, while retaining the contents of both SRAM and CPU registers, and consuming only 120 µA/Hz when the CPU is active with peripherals off. The RX231 Group can recover from standby mode in a minimum of 5 µs, which makes it possible to reduce current loss during the recovery and allow the application to react quickly to external events. Applications can be executed from flash after this time, and analog functions, such as the analog-to-digital converter, are available for use.

The RX231 Group also supports an additional low power timer (LPT), which consumes only an additional 0.4 µA and allows the user to program the device to wake up from the low power modes with a very wide range of possible timings, minimizing current consumption in many different applications.

(2) High-sensitivity touch key functionality:

The RX231 Group provides proven capacitive touch sensor capabilities equipped with Renesas’ Second-Generation Cap Touch technology.

With support for up to 24 touch keys for self-capacitance mode and up to 144 keys for mutual capacitance mode, the RX231 MCUs can support LED, buzzer, and communication functions in more basic touch systems such as blood pressure monitors (typically 9 keys), to systems with more elaborate requirements like security keypads (19 keys) and ovens (25 keys). This touch key functionality combines high sensitivity with a high level of noise tolerance, allowing use even when the panel is wet or when the operator is wearing gloves. This makes it possible to create highly flexible user interfaces in terms of usage environment and device design.

(3) Enhanced communication functions:

For smart home and building automation, industrial networking, and remote sensor networks, advanced connectivity and the ability to support multiple interface standards are critical. The RX231 Group fully supports emerging IoT platforms by providing enhanced communication functionality with complete USB 2.0 support, including device/host and OTG operation and full compliance to Battery Charging specification 2.0. The RX231 devices also feature several connectivity peripherals, including up to 7 SCI channels, SDHI support, a CAN interface with ISO 11898-1 compliance, and an IrDA interface for wireless connectivity and audio support.

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