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Renesas Electronics Announces the RL78/F12 Microcontrollers, the First Integrated Products for Automotive Applications in the New RL78 Family

Contribute to Reduced System Power Consumption with Ultra-low Power and High Performance for Keyless Entry and Other Automotive Control Systems

SANTA CLARA, Calif., September 6, 2011 — Renesas Electronics, a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the availability of 32 new RL78/F12 16-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) that contribute to reduced system power consumption and higher performance for automotive control systems, including keyless entry, power window control, mirror control, and other applications.


The new MCUs are the first group of devices in Renesas’ F Series of automotive products in the new RL78 Family that feature industry-leading low power consumption and high performance. The RL78 Family combines the superlative technologies of Renesas' main existing products in the 8-/16-bit MCU market, the 78K (78K0 and 78K0R) and R8C, and integrates an extensive set of peripheral functions around the RL78 CPU core, which is based on the low-power/high-performance 78K0R CPU core.

As a result of the growing number and functionality of MCUs in automobiles, there is an increasing demand for MCUs that can provide even lower power consumption, a reduction in printed circuit board mounting areas, and provide technology to reduce overall system-component count. To respond to these needs, Renesas has released the F Series of automotive MCUs in the RL78 Family that inherit the excellent features of the earlier Renesas R8C and 78K (78K0 and 78K0R) low-power MCUs that have a proven track record in automotive applications. Aiming at extreme reductions in power consumption, these new products respond to the need for 8-/16-bit devices that can reduce total costs across whole system structures.


Furthermore, the trend toward mechatronics, in which electronic control and mechanical components are integrated together, is progressing, and performance when operating at high temperatures, such as in the engine compartment or headlights, is now desired. At the same time, efforts at responding to functional safety standards are becoming increasingly important. Therefore Renesas has included a rich set of diagnostic functions in the RL78/F12 MCUs to support high-temperature operation and functional safety.



Key features of the RL78/F12 MCUs

The new the RL78/F12 MCUs include functions that support internal flash memory with capacities from 8- to 64-kilobytes (KB); packages from 20 to 64 pins; and the LIN (Local Interconnect Network) specification, which has become the standard in-car network.


(1) Low power consumption and high processing performance contribute to reduced power consumption in applications

Power consumption in these MCUs has been reduced to the industry's lowest levels with an operating current of 70 µA/MHz (at 32 MHz for basic operations) and standby current of 0.6 µA during normal operation (Note 1), which is about 1/10 of previous Renesas products. At the same time, the MCUs also achieve a CPU performance of 41.6 DMIPS at 32 MHz (1.6 times the performance of earlier Renesas products).

The RL78/F12 products are fabricated in a 130 nm process which results in a reduction of about one half the power consumption of the earlier Renesas 78K0R/Fx3 and R8C/3x devicess.

The RL78/F12 MCUs also contain a new low-power mode (snooze mode), which allows A/D conversion and serial communication to be performed without waking up the main CPU. This snooze mode feature also will contribute to system-wide power consumption reductions.


(2) Support for low-voltage operation at 1.8 V, effective for applications such as keyless entry

The RL78/F12 MCUs can perform data flash write/erase operations and A/D conversions at 1.8 volts (V), and thus can be highly effective in applications that operate at low voltages such as keyless entry.


(3) Support for high-temperature operation at ambient temperatures up to 150° contributes to integration of mechanical and electronic systems and use of end products at high temperatures

Although earlier Renesas products supported ambient temperatures (Ta) up to 125℃, the RL78/F12 MCUs support operation at ambient temperatures up to 150°C, allowing use in high-temperature environments such as the engine compartment and headlights.


(4) Extensive set of diagnostic functions that support functional safety

As the amount of electric and electronic equipment included in cars increases, efforts to support functional safety standards are becoming increasingly important. By including protection functions such as a flash data error detection using a flash memory CRC calculation function, RAM parity detection, illegal memory access detection, a RAM data and SFR inadvertent overwrite due to runaway code protection function, and an A/D converter self-test function, the RL78/F12 MCUs contribute to system safety by detecting and preventing abnormal operations in the end product. The CPU load is reduced by implementing this rich set of diagnostic functions in hardware and, compared to software processing, this approach also achieves faster detection. Renesas plans to provide a self-test program to detect CPU core faults, and currently provides functional safety with a rich set of diagnostic functions and core diagnostic software.


The RL78/F12 devices are the first release of the new RL78 family, which will address the majority of the 8-/16-bit automotive MCU market. The RL78 family will combine the best legacy features of the 78K and R8C families and will advance the technology needed to meet next-generation automotive requirements. More information about the new products can be found at http://am.renesas.com/press/news/2011/news20110906_s.jsp.



Pricing and Availability

Samples of Renesas' RL78/F12 MCUs are scheduled to begin in September 2011. Pricing varies depending on memory capacity, package and number of pins. For example, the RL78/F12 MCU with 64 KB of flash memory equipped on a package with 48 pins is priced at US$5.0 per unit in sample quantities. Mass production is scheduled to start in January 2013 and is expected to reach a combined volume of 1,000,000 units per month in January 2014. (Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.)



Ranked #1 Supplier Worldwide for Microcontrollers

Renesas Electronics Corporation again has been ranked by Gartner as the number one MCU supplier worldwide based on revenues from shipments in 2010 for 8-, 16- and 32-bit microcontrollers in the March 2011 market share report.* More information about Renesas’ MCU offerings can be found at http://am.renesas.com/prod/mcumpu/.



  • (Note 1) RL78/F12 is in STOP mode while the Window Watchdog Timer and the Low Voltage Detector are still in operation mode.

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 NEC LCD 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.


*Source: Gartner "Market Share: Semiconductor Devices, Worldwide, 2010" March 2011. All registered trademarks or trademarks 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.