Four new product groups provide low-power functions such as LCD drive circuit, contributing to overall reduced system power consumption
27 Sep 2010
TOKYO, September 27, 2010 — Renesas Electronics (TSE: 6723) today announced the release of 56 new 8-bit microcontrollers within the R8C/Lx Series. The new R8C/LAxA product groups offer ultra-low power consumption ranked among the best in the industry along with the company's low-power K0 (8-bit) and K0R (16-bit) MCUs. The R8C/Lx MCUs will comprise a total of four groups ranging from 32- to 80-pins and up to 64 kilobytes (KB) of programmable flash memory. Sample shipments of the first products are scheduled to begin in Q3 2010, with samples of the remaining products being shipped successively thereafter.
In addition to reduced current consumption, the four groups offer new features that contribute to reduced system power consumption overall, including on-chip flash memory with 1.8 operating voltage (V) and two power off modes that effectively reduce current consumption while the MCU is in standby.
The key differences between the four groups are listed in the table below. A variety of specifications is available with different pin counts and supported LCD sizes, allowing customers to choose the version that best matches their requirements.
|Group||Pin Count||Max. Flash Memory Capacity||LCD Size|
|R8C/LA8A||80 pins||64 KB||40 segments × 4 common|
|R8C/LA6A||64 pins||64 KB||32 segments × 4 common|
|R8C/LA5A||52 pins||64 KB||24 segments × 4 common|
|R8C/LA3A||32 pins||64 KB||8 segments × 4 common|
Key features of the four groups.
(1) Extremely low power consumption that is among the best in the industry
Through improvements to the fabrication process and other enhancements, the current consumption during operation is only 150 µA per 1 MHz (microamps per megahertz), a reduction of approximately 60 percent from the 350 µA per 1 MHz of the first products released in the R8C/Lx Series. In addition, the standby current is less than 10 nA.
The four new groups support the power-off modes (low-power modes) introduced in the first products in the R8C/Lx Series. These power-off modes have received a very favorable response for the fine-grained power control they provide, and now the power consumption has been reduced even more. The standby current in power off mode 0 is less than 10nA. This significantly reduces the standby current. Flexibility is increased still further by the ability of the newest MCUs to retain random-access memory (RAM) content and I/O port status when in a power-off mode. Furthermore power off mode 2, newly added in the LAxA Group, retains real-time clock operation.
These enhancements improve system power efficiency overall and make it possible to extend battery life substantially in applications requiring low power consumption, such as battery-powered devices of various types.
(2) Flash memory that can be erased, programmed, and read using a low voltage of 1.8V
Renesas Electronics' R8C/Lx MCUs have two types of on-chip flash memory: one primarily for storing programs (programmable flash memory) and one for storing data (data flash memory). The four new groups support erase, program, and read of all flash memory at 1.8V, allowing the flash memory to be accessed over the MCU's entire operating voltage range of 1.8 to 5.5V. This simplifies power supply design, enables use of lower voltage, and reduces the system's overall power consumption by allowing the use of a single power supply.
Data flash (Note 1) is a special type of on-chip flash memory exclusive to Renesas Electronics that is intended for storing data. It helps to reduce the number of external components required by eliminating the need for external EEPROM (electrically erasable and programmable read-only memory) for data storage.
(3) Full-calendar RTC
The first MCUs released in the R8C/Lx Series had a one-week real-time clock (RTC), so additional software processing was required every week. The new MCUs provide a full-calendar RTC and support clock operation without additional software processing. This further reduces the power consumption of clock operation and is suitable for systems in which clock-based standby is used often. These devices also integrate a calibration function, which can correct timing errors caused by inaccuracy in the external 32 kHz oscillator and also a programmable alarm function allowing the device to be kept in a low power modes until needed.
(4) On-chip gain amplifier and temperature sensor
The on-chip gain amplifier offers designers a wider dynamic range of A/D conversion with ×1, ×2, ×4, ×6 and ×8 software selectable gains. An on-chip temperature sensor offers flexibility for calibration of both internal and external components. These two functions reduce further the external components required to implement many designs.
(5) 32-pin package versions added to product lineup
The available pin counts now range from 32 to 80 pins, allowing customers to choose the package that best meets their requirements. In addition, it is now easy to add LCD capabilities to compact applications previously lacking an LCD display, making it possible for customers to improve the design and functionality of their products.
In recent years, MCUs incorporating LCD drivers have come into use in a wide range of fields, both as main MCUs in small-scale systems, such as battery-powered healthcare devices or consumer products with LCD panels, and as sub-MCUs in large-scale systems, such as industrial equipment, electric household appliances, and high-performance office equipment. Demand is growing for reduced power consumption and a wide variety of product types to meet the diverse requirements of products with advanced functionality and battery-powered devices requiring low power consumption.
To meet this demand, Renesas Electronics introduced the R8C/Lx Series of high-performance, low-power MCUs which are now in mass production and have achieved wide adoption in many different markets. Now the second batch of products in the series is appearing, providing environmentally friendly low-power operation and extending the product lineup. The new MCUs retain the advanced functions, performance, and flexibility of the first batch of products in the series, while also achieving ultra-low power consumption rated among the best in the industry.
The four groups of MCUs are all built around the Renesas Electronics R8C CPU core, which has a proven track record in the R8C/Lx Series and delivers high performance, excellent functionality and ample flexibility. The R8C is a 16-bit CPU, but the CPU and peripheral functions are linked by an 8-bit bus. The high-speed on-chip oscillator supports a wide range of operating voltages from 1.8 to 5.5V and achieves an accuracy of ±4 percent. A divider circuit in a later stage is used to produce a variety of oscillation frequencies, allowing adjustment of the serial communication interface (SCI) baud rate and timing adjustment of the timers.
Additionally, the following on-chip peripheral functions are provided.
- Power-on reset function
As in earlier products, a function that resets all of the MCU's internal circuits when the device is powered on is provided. The power-on reset function is designed to respond flexibly even when the power supply voltage rise is gradual.
- Voltage-detection circuits
Voltage-detection circuits are provided for detecting external voltages, unlike previous products that supported only one voltage-detection level. The four new groups are equipped with three circuits providing 20 configurable voltage-detection levels.
All the new MCUs integrate an I2C bus interface and a synchronous serial communication unit (SSU) to enable communication with a variety of external chips. There is also an on-chip comparator function, making it possible to monitor analog signals without the use of an A/D converter for a further reduction in power consumption. These products can be used for a wide range of analog-control applications.
Renesas Electronics' E8a emulator, an on-chip debugger that uses a single-pin interface, will be offered as a development environment for the new MCUs. Since only a single pin is needed for connection, all of the I/O pins can be used during debugging, enabling efficient program development. Debugging is also efficient because the emulator allows the user to reference and change the contents of the RAM while the program under development is running. The E8a emulator functions not only as an emulator, but can also be used as a flash memory programmer. There are also plans to make available compatible versions of Renesas Electronics' E100 full-spec emulator, allowing developers to choose the emulator that best meets their needs.
The new MCUs will ship either with the flash memory blank or with the flash memory preprogrammed depending on customers' requirements. Plans for future evolution of the R8C/Lx Series include products with enhanced analog functions, support for even lower voltages, reduced power consumption, and peripheral functions selected for specific applications. Renesas Electronics will continue to extend its product lineup of the R8C Family in response to evolving market needs, contributing to the development of products that offer better functionality, lower voltage operation, and less power consumption.
(Note 1) Data flash: Renesas Electronics' proprietary flash memory is used primarily for data storage separate from flash memory that is used for software storage
Products in a wide variety of application areas, including battery-operated devices, healthcare devices, household electrical appliances, industrial equipment, security equipment, imaging devices, and office automation equipment
Pricing and Availability
Samples of Renesas Electronics' new MCUs are currently available and are priced as follows. (Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.)
N Version (Operating Temperature Range: −20 to 85℃)
|Group Name||Type Name||Flash Memory / RAM||Data Flash||Package (Size)||Sample Price
|R8C/LA8A Group||R5F2LA84ANFP||16KB/2KB||2KB||80-pin LQFP
(12 mm × 12 mm,
0.50 mm pin pitch)
|2.4 to 3.5|
(14 mm × 14 mm,
0.65 mm pin pitch)
|R8C/LA6A Group||R5F2LA64ANFP||16KB/2KB||2KB||64-pin LQFP
(10 mm × 10 mm,
0.50 mm pin pitch)
(14 mm × 14 mm,
0.80 mm pin pitch)
(8 mm × 8 mm,
0.40 mm pin pitch)
|R8C/LA5A Group||R5F2LA52ANFP||8KB/2KB||2KB||52-pin LQFP
(10 mm × 10 mm,
0.65 mm pin pitch)
|R8C/LA3A Group||R5F2LA32ANFP||8KB/2KB||2KB||32-pin LQFP
(7 mm × 7 mm,
0.80 mm pin pitch)
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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.
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.