Renesas Electronics Introduces 16-Bit IO-Link Microcontrollers for Industrial Sensors with 56 Percent Smaller Package Size

Optimized for IO-Link Slave Applications

05 Nov 2010

TOKYO, November 5, 2010 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today introduced four 16-bit microcontroller (MCU) products that support slave device operation in the IO-Link communication standard for miniature sensors and actuators used in industrial systems.

The new MCUs combine Renesas Electronics' 16-bit MCU, the 78K0R, and an IO-LINK transceiver in a 4 × 7 millimeter (mm) BGA (ball grid array) package, featuring a 56 percent reduction in size compared to the company's existing 8 × 8 mm QFN (quad flat package) products. The four MCUs have built-in flash memory of 32 KB (µPD78F8040F1), 64 KB (µPD78F8041F1), 96 KB (µPD78F8042F1), and 128 KB (µPD78F8043F1).

The new MCUs will make it possible to implement the sensor control circuit board inside a case the same width as the M8 connector (8 mm diameter) used with miniature sensors. This will make it possible to develop miniature sensors regardless of the previous size limitation imposed by the connector outer diameter.

As functionality and performance increase in industrial sensors and actuators, even higher level and more complex communication are used between the control equipment and the sensors and actuators in industrial equipment, such as optical and proximity sensors. Concerns have been raised, however, about problems such as many of the communication standards used in industrial equipment being proprietary to the manufacturer and these standards having inadequate functions for diagnosis of sensors and other equipment or for setting parameters.

IO-Link is a standard for communication between industrial system control units (master devices) and sensors or actuators (slave devices) that was created to resolve these problems. IO-Link is compatible with existing industrial networks such as Fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet. It makes possible both communication of sensor and actuator data as well as settings and diagnostics on those devices, and it also takes interfacing with existing sensors into consideration. Thus it provides features that can support increasing sophistication and complexity in existing sensor communication systems.

Given this background, there have been increasing demands from industrial equipment users for MCUs that can easily provide IO-Link functions and Renesas Electronics introduced products that combined an MCU and an IO-Link transceiver in a single 8 mm × 8 mm QFN package in September 2009. The new MCUs were developed to respond to needs for even further miniaturization.

These new products provide the following features.

  • (1) Package size reduced by 56 percent compared to the company's existing MCUs

    Renesas Electronics has developed a new miniature package that meets the requirement from miniature sensors. The new MCUs are equipped in a 4 × 7 mm BGA package that features a size reduction of 56 percent from the earlier 8 × 8 mm QFN package. Furthermore, the BGA ball arrangement is designed as two concentric cycles for easier connection to all pins when mounted on the circuit board. In addition to reducing the part count by implementing both the MCU and the transceiver in a single device, mounting these devices in the new miniature package makes it possible to mount a control circuit on a small circuit board with limited space.
     
  • (2) Incorporate 16-bit 78K0R MCU to realize high functionality and high performance for miniature sensors and actuators used in industrial systems

    By incorporating the 78K0R MCU with 20 MHz processing speed, the new MCUs enable higher speed data transfer between the control equipment and the sensors and improved real-time processing performance.
     
  • (3) Built-in memory devices and extensive variety of peripheral functions addressing various system demands

    With 32 KB and 128 KB of flash memory (FAM) and 4 KB and 7 KB of /ROM, the new MCUs allow system designers to flexibly respond to signal processing of various sensors. The new MCUs also include A/D converters and serial interfaces that realize connectivity with various sensors. In addition, the built-in DMA (direct memory access) function enables efficient data-processing and communication processing.
     
  • (4) Compact size development kit provided to make system development with these new products easier

    Renesas Electronics provides a development kit for miniature sensors with a circuit board size of 6 × 30 mm that presumes miniature sensor equipment with the same size as an M8 connector.The new development kit can reduce the development time for miniature sensor equipment and make it possible for users to provide IO-Link support quickly.
     

The new MCUs have been developed in cooperation with ELMOS Semiconductors AG (Germany), a major manufacturer of analog semiconductors, with the goal of providing the worldwide market with system ICs that incorporate analog semiconductor technology. The development kit has also been developed in cooperation with TMG Karlsruhe (Germany), a company with a proven track record in IO-Link system development.

 

Renesas Electronics positions the new MCUs as devices that facilitate system designers to incorporate IO-Link functionality into their products. Renesas Electronics will continue to respond to market needs by offering new MCUs aiming to enable even further end miniaturization for the system designers.

 

More information can be found on the separate sheet on the specifications of the new MCUs.

Pricing and Availability

Samples of Renesas Electronics' new MCUs are available now. The sample prices of these new MCUs vary depending on memory capacity. For example, the µPD78F8043 with 128 KB of flash memory and 7 KB of RAM is priced at US$7 per unit.

 

Mass production of these new products is scheduled to begin in FY2011 Q1 and is expected to reach a monthly production of 200,000 units by 2012. (Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.)

 

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, home electronics, office automation, and information communication technology applications that help shape a limitless future. Learn more at renesas.com.

(Remarks) These products use the SuperFlash(R) technology under license from Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.

SuperFlash(R) is a registered trademark of Silicon Storage Technology, Inc. in the United States, Japan, and other countries. The product names and service names mentioned in this press release are all registered trademarks or trademarks belonging to their respective companies.


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.