Renesas Electronics Announces Availability of Reference Design Solution for Industrial Remote I/O Devices

Integrating the R-IN32M3 Industrial Network Device, Contributes to Significant Reduction of Time-to-Market for Remote I/O Units Supporting EtherCAT(R)

07 Aug 2014

TOKYO, Japan, August 7, 2014 — As part of its lineup expansion of platform solutions for the R-IN32M3 Series of industrial Ethernet communication system-on-chips (SoCs), Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the availability of its new Remote I/O Trial Kit-a complete hardware and software reference solution for development of Remote I/O devices typically used for I/O monitoring, communication and industrial process control. The new solution supports the EtherCAT(R) protocol and is now available.

The new reference design solution presents a further advance in Renesas' provision of devices and development environments that reduce the system designer's development period and provides an actual industrial equipment application as a reference design. Renesas estimates that the new solution can reduce the development steps required, from the start of product development through the design prototype completion, a process that consists of hardware design, software design, and approval acquisition, by approximately over 60 percent (source: Renesas).

The trend toward a smart factory requires that more of the I/O points need improved performance and more deterministic communication capabilities. This new crop of industrial Ethernet standards enables a network to have high-speed, real-time connectivity. However, when adopting these new industrial Ethernet technologies, large number of new development and evaluation operations are required. These include hardware design including corresponding SoC selection and circuit and layout design, implementation of industrial Ethernet protocols and application processing, functional and performance evaluation, and connection testing with master equipment such as PLC/PAC (programmable logic control/ programmable automation controller) equipment. The large number of development processes required here can lead to significant increases in the time and costs associated with the development of a new user product.

The Remote I/O Trial Kit solution will be available for limited supply to qualified system designers (Note 1) as a reference design that consists not only of an actual remote I/O module but also software, documentation, and circuit schematics. By providing this shrink-wrapped solution that has already completed all the development processes required, system designers will be able to significantly reduce the time from development to evaluation and the approval testing phase and lower development risk and costs.

Renesas aims not only to strengthen its support for other communication standard protocols (Note 2) through collaboration with partner companies but will also continue to expand its lineup of application-oriented solutions that further contribute to reliable, fast, and timely product development of end products by system designers.

Key features of the new reference design solution:

  • (1) Dramatic reduction in development time

    The new reference design solution has been developed based on an optimized system configuration to help the designers reduce BOM (bill of materials) costs of the overall system and eliminate concerns for safety standards, as well as certification procedures from industrial Ethernet communication protocol organizations. This allows the number of process steps, from the start of development to certification procedures, to be reduced by approximately 60 percent or more (Renesas estimate).

  • (2) Facilitates development of remote I/O equipment that supports multiple protocols in the same hardware structure

    Since the R-IN32M3 Series of SoCs used in this trial kit support protocols including EtherCAT, CC-Link IE® (Note 3), Ethernet/IP, and PROFINET, it is easy for designers to develop remote I/O products that support multiple protocols in the same hardware structure.

    Additionally, the printed circuit board used in this trial kit incorporates memory required for the R-IN32M3 Series device and the Ethernet communication PHY SoC to perform industrial Ethernet communication. This helps to develop a more compact system at lower cost.

About the Remote I/O Trial Kit:

(1) Items provided in the Remote I/O Trial Kit

  • Remote I/O module
  • Software
    ■ Remote I/O application processing
    ■ EtherCAT communication processing
    ■ ESI file for EtherCAT communication
  • Documentation (application note)
  • Circuit diagrams (OrCAD data, layout PDF)


The hardware information includes a power supply system structure and component values optimized for the R-IN32M3 specifications and information that both takes into account safety standards and optimized BOM costs. This can be used in end products without modification.


The software includes not only the data processing used in remote I/O equipment, but also industrial Ethernet communication processing as well. This makes it possible to quickly verify Ethernet communication operation.


(2) Remote I/O module hardware specifications

  • 24V digital output
      ■ NPN type: 16 channel
      ■ Rated output voltage: 24 [V]
      ■ Rated output current: 0.1[A] / channel, 2[A] / module
  • 24V digital input

■ NPN type: 16 channel
■ Rated input voltage: 24 [V]
■ Rated input current: Under 4[mA] / channel 

  • Power supply

■ Rated voltage: 24 V
■ Internal consumption current: Under 100 mA

  • LED

■ Status LED: RUN (green), ERR (red), IN/OUT (green)


(Note 1)

The remote I/O module, software, and circuit diagram data are provided without charge on a temporary loan basis.

(Note 2)

Renesas' EtherCAT protocol stack will be available beginning in September 2014. Renesas plans to release other protocol stacks as they are developed. (Availability is subject to change with geographic location.)

(Note 3)

CC-Link IE is supported by R-IN32M3-CL version. Please note that this module is mounted with the R-IN32M3-EC product.

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) delivers trusted embedded design innovation with complete semiconductor solutions that enable billions of connected, intelligent devices to enhance the way people work and live. A global leader in microcontrollers, analog, power, and SoC products, Renesas provides comprehensive solutions for a broad range of automotive, industrial, infrastructure, and IoT applications that help shape a limitless future. Learn more at Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.


EtherCAT is a patented technology that Renesas has licensed from Beckhoff Automation GmbH, and is a registered trademark. CC-Link is a registered trademark of CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA). Ethernet/IP is a trademark of ODVA. Other product and service names that appear in this press release are trademarks or registered trademarks that are the property of their respective owners.

The content in the press release, including, but not limited to, product prices and specifications, is based on the information as of the date indicated on the document, but may be subject to change without prior notice.