Family of low-power MCUs optimised for IoT end point applications

Renesas Electronics Corporation has launched and begun mass production of its 16-bit general-purpose RL78/G23 MCU, further strengthening its RL78 Family of 8-bit and 16-bit MCUs for a wide variety of applications. Compatible with its current general-purpose RL78 MCUs, such as the RL78/G13, the RL78/G23 increased the on-chip flash memory capacity to 768KB and considerably expanded on-chip peripheral functions, which increase functionality while reducing the BOM cost while improving power consumption needed by battery-powered applications. With this feature combination, the new device is ideal for a broad range of applications that need both power and cost efficiency, including IoT endpoint devices such as home electronics, remote controls, and sensors.

“It has been ten years since we first introduced the RL78 Family, and I am delighted that Renesas has continued its technology innovation drive as seen with the new RL78/G23, which delivers lower power consumption with a new process technology,” said Noriaki Nakanishi, vice president of the MCU Device Solution Business Division at Renesas. “Moving forward, we will continue to expand the RL78 Family’s second-generation roadmap with easy to design and cost-efficient low-end MCUs to meet customers’ ever-evolving development needs.”

By utilising a new process, the device realises 44µA/MHz at CPU operation and 210nA during STOP (with 4KB of SRAM retention), and even lower power consumption than current RL78 MCUs. The newly implemented SNOOZE mode sequencer (SMS) makes it unnecessary to activate the CPU while any peripheral operations are working in snooze mode, greatly decreasing power consumption for applications that use intermittent operation. Moreover, the logic and event link controller adds logic functionality to the abilities of a conventional event link controller. This makes it feasible to produce conditional links to multiple events while continuing to profit from the reduced power consumption realised by the ELC.

The device features a company-exclusive capacitive touch sensor unit that consolidates superior high-sensitivity and low-noise characteristics and can be employed to implement a contactless gesture-based UI. The MCU also includes enhanced security functions that make it possible to develop truly secure systems. These include a TRNG necessary for certificate encryption and a device-specific unique ID, and a customer ID that can be defined by the user. The company also provides the RL78/G14 evaluation board, which is already qualified to work with FreeRTOS on AWS and is listed in the AWS Partner Device Catalog. The evaluation board is also scheduled to receive FreeRTOS qualification.