Renesas Electronics Launches Virtual Development Environment to Assist Evaluation During Early Development

RL78 Web Simulator Simplifies RL78 Family Microcontrollers' Prototype Development and Current Consumption Simulation without Purchasing Development Tools

10 Feb 2016

TOKYO, Japan, February 10, 2016 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the development of the RL78 Web Simulator, a development support tool for the industry-leading low-power RL78 Family of microcontrollers (MCUs, Note 1). The RL78 Web Simulator is hosted on the Renesas website (www.renesas.com/RL78-WebSimulator) and is now operational.

 

Renesas will first deliver a version supporting the RL78/G13 Group, a group with high versatility among the RL78 Family, and also plans to extend its support for other Renesas MCUs. System developers can use the new simulator on the Renesas website whenever they wish and free of charge to perform tasks such as prototype development and current consumption simulation for systems incorporating Renesas MCUs.

 

Recently, integrated development environments for MCUs have achieved higher performance and added numerous functions. As a result, they require extensive setup time, impose a significant load on the host computer, and are complex to use. Additional issues include the need to purchase a complete suite of development tools for evaluation of the MCU during the early development stage, and the need to have a working system in order to measure the MCU's power consumption as it is necessary to calculate current values with a variety of peripheral functions added.

 

Renesas has developed an easy-to-use virtual board simulator and two current consumption tools, with the aim of eventually creating a cloud-based integrated development environment. The two current consumption tools consist of a "consumption current simulator", which analyses the application program and calculates the current consumption with a high degree of accuracy; and a "consumption current calculator", which enables the system developers to calculate the current consumption before programming starts by simply specifying the operating conditions.

 

Key features of the RL78 Web Simulator:

(1) Virtual board simulator function that enables the building of an evaluation environment during early development quickly and free of charge
Selecting the RL78/G13 I/O panel in the integrated development environment activates a simulator function using a virtual version of the board from the RL78/G13 starter kit. The developers can then manipulate I/O such as switch inputs, LED outputs, and potentiometer inputs from the virtual board panel. In addition, the pin monitoring window can be used to observe the pin voltage levels.


(2) Highly accurate "consumption current simulator" supports calculation of peak current reduction and battery life
The consumption current simulator adds a current consumption plug-in to the integrated development environment. It analyzes the application program and enables calculation of the change in current consumption at each step of program execution. It also can calculate average and peak currents, which is useful for studying peak current smoothing and calculating battery life. By simply specifying the operating conditions of the peripheral functions using the GUI, a "consumption current calculator" is also prepared that makes it easy for system developers to determine the current consumption characteristics without the need for programming.


(3) Future realization of a cloud-based integrated development environment that will contribute to a shortening of the early development evaluation period
Conventionally, integrated development environment had to be downloaded and installed on the host computer. Renesas' integrated development environment that will be available will be hosted in the cloud and will be available instantly whenever the system developers need it.

 

 

Renesas has been developing tools that simplify prototype development for programming of Renesas MCUs with the aim to encourage a wide range of system manufacturers to adopt Renesas MCUs in their systems. Based on this policy, Renesas intends to further expand the service offerings of the new web simulator, including the creation of a full cloud-based environment, extension of its functionality, and support for other Renesas devices such as the RX Family.

 

(Note 1) The RL78 Family achieves industry-leading power efficiency and has an extensive product lineup with pin counts from 10- to 128-pin and ROM capacities from 1 KB to 512 KB. Integration of functions such as a high-speed on-chip oscillator accurate to ±1% at 32 MHz and a low-voltage detection circuit contribute to lower overall system cost.

 

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 renesas.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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