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Renesas Electronics America Expands Solutions Ecosystem for Low-Power RL78 MCUs

New Motor Kit and Renesas Demonstration Kit Solutions Enable Easy Evaluation of RL78 MCUs, Speeding Time to Market

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Renesas Electronics America Inc. today announced it has expanded its portfolio of solutions for the low-power RL78/G14 microcontroller (MCU) family in order to simplify systems development and decrease time-to-market. Designed to deliver performance and power-efficiency while incorporating advanced on-chip peripherals, the RL78/G14 MCUs are ideal for a number of applications including low-power consumer and wireless systems, household appliances, home healthcare, HVAC equipment and industrial automation systems. With today’s announcement, Renesas offers a new RL78/G14 motor-control kit and RL78/G14 Renesas Demonstration Kit (RDK) with built-in features to support Internet and cloud connectivity.

“Customers choose the RL78 MCUs because they offer low-power operation, great performance and the right mix of peripherals for their application,” said Ritesh Tyagi, senior director, Microcontroller Products & Solutions Marketing, Renesas Electronics America. “But more and more, customers rely on Renesas to provide complete software and system-level development capabilities. The new motor kit and RDK for the RL78/G14 devices demonstrate our commitment to helping customers get to market more quickly with differentiated products.”

About the RL78/G14 Motor-Control Kit

The new RL78/G14-based motor-control kit is a complete, end-to-end solution that demonstrates the RL78/G14 controlling a three-phase brushless DC (BLDC) motor using sensorless vector control. The kit will allow engineers to easily implement sensorless vector control and evaluate the performance using a graphical user interface (GUI) to ease the design process, and reduce development time and cost.

Running a custom motor using sensorless vector control typically requires the designer to tune control algorithm parameters such as current loop PI gain constants, which can be challenging and time consuming. The Renesas solution includes an additional test mode that allows designers to quickly obtain optimal PI gain constants, simplifying the process of tuning the sensorless vector control software algorithms so that engineers may run their own motors if desired. The kit also provides an isolated interface to the computer for improved safety. The kit contains:

  • RL78/G14 MCU featuring the ultra-low power 140uA/MHz RL78 core, 5V supply voltage for excellent noise immunity, and scalability from 16KB to 256KB and 30 to 100 pin package
  • A 15V/4-pole BLDC motor for flexibility in evaluating bi-directional speed control using the source code provided with the kit
  • Sensorless vector control algorithm for energy-efficient motor control
  • Self-test code for IEC60730 safety compliance
  • RJK0654DPB MOSFET, a high-speed switching power MOSFET featuring 60V source voltage, and low drive current, RDSon and gate charge
  • A connector on the board for a user-supplied high-voltage inverter
  • Additional Renesas voltage regulator and logic ICs
  • IAR Embedded Workbench, GUI, Renesas Flash Programmer and evaluation copy of IAR compiler
  • Design files such as schematics and Gerber files of the board

About the RL78/G14 RDK

Renesas Electronics has developed an easy-to-use RDK designed to significantly reduce design uncertainties, development time and cost. The kit is optimized for the development of solutions for the industrial and medical markets, especially those where Internet and cloud connectivity are an imperative. Renesas teamed up with Exosite and Gainspan to integrate this connectivity.

The kit features an integrated cloud client to provide a simple yet powerful connection to portal and service provider Exosite. Hans Rempel, Founder and CEO of Exosite, said, “This is our third development kit collaboration with Renesas in which Exosite-enabled firmware connects the user to their kit, via the cloud, in minutes. The combination of the Exosite cloud interface, the Gainspan wireless connectivity, and the Renesas low power RL78/G14 processor give customers exciting off-the-shelf building blocks to quickly prototype and create their own cloud-connected M2M products. As with all our collaborations with Renesas, customers can use our web dashboards (and APIs) to remotely interact with their Renesas Demonstration Kits free of charge."

Bernard Aboussouan, Vice President of Marketing at GainSpan, said, “Renesas worked with Gainspan to integrate a highly integrated and ultra-low power Wi-Fi module into the RDK, an industry first for a starter kit in this price range. The module is FCC, IC, CE and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ by the Wi-Fi Alliance®, and has also been pre-programmed and integrated with factory setup and demo applications, using the embedded web server and service discovery with browser or native iPhone/ Android apps, and provisioning and over-the-air firmware upgrade applications.”

Working closely with several leading semiconductor suppliers, the new RL78/G14 RDK showcases both a reference BOM and reference schematics for most MCU interfaces available for the RL78/G14 MCUs, highlighting both the chipset and solutions from as many as 12 design or semiconductor partners, including Analog Devices Inc., Total Phase, Okaya Electric Industries Co., NDK, Future Designs Inc., E Ink, Seiko Instruments Inc., Micron, PalConn, Gainspan, Exosite and CEL. The kit also features:

  • Fully stand-alone operation; the RDK integrates a power supply and USB debug interface and can be demonstrated in stand-alone mode with its factory demos or along with a development PC
  • Several communication, power, audio and user interfaces, and can act as an open platform with multiple expansion connectors including two PMOD connectors
  • Advanced user interface with two low-power display technologies, a chip-on-glass unit by Okaya and a bi-stable, non-glass E Ink segmented display
  • Advanced MCU peripherals such as optimized motor-control timer.

Pricing and Availability

The RL78/G14 Motor Control Kit is available now. More information is available online at http://am.renesas.com/applications/key_technology/motor_control/reference/RL78/index.jsp

The RL78/G14 RDK is available now for $99. More information, including short video tutorials on YouTube, is available online at http://www.renesas.com/RDKRL78G14

Pricing and availability is subject to change without notice.

More information on Renesas’ RL78 MCU family is available here.

About Renesas Electronics America Inc.

Renesas Electronics America Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), the world's number one supplier of microcontrollers and a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions including microcontrollers, SoC solutions, and a broad range of analog and power devices. In the Americas, Renesas Electronics America markets and sells industrial-type active-matrix LCD modules from NLT Technologies, Ltd., a global leader in innovative display technologies. More information about the products offered by Renesas Electronics America can be found at http://am.renesas.com.

Renesas Electronics America will highlight technologies that are enabling a Smart Society at the Renesas Electronics DevCon 2012 being held in Orange County, Calif., October 22-25. For the latest Renesas DevCon details and activities, visit www.Renesas.com, follow @RenesasAmerica on Twitter or join the DevCon community on Facebook.

Voce Communications, a Porter Novelli Company
Jessica Kerr, 415-975-2213
jessica.kerr@porternovelli.com

Source: Renesas Electronics America Inc.