Renesas Electronics America Kicks Off RL78 Green Energy Challenge

RL78 MCU Design Contest Spurs Global Innovation and Excellence; Demonstrates Renesas Commitment to Building a Smart Society

26 Mar 2012

Santa Clara, Calif. March 26, 2012 - To spur embedded design creativity and innovation in the area of green energy, Renesas Electronics America Inc. today launched the RL78 Green Energy Challenge, a design contest featuring the RL78 microcontrollers (MCUs) and a robust software support environment provided by Renesas Electronics America and its Alliance Partner community. The Renesas RL78 Green Energy Challenge provides an open, creative environment in which embedded engineers can showcase their skill in developing green energy designs in areas such as energy harvesting, low power, metering, monitoring and control systems. The contest begins March 26, 2012 and ends August 31, 2012. Winners will be announced at the Renesas DevCon in October in Anaheim, Calif.


The RL78 Green Energy Challenge is presented by Renesas Electronics in partnership with Circuit Cellar Magazine and Elektor Magazine. The design contest prizes are sponsored by Renesas Electronics along with partners Analog Devices, CMX Systems, Exosite, GainSpan Corp., IAR Systems, Micrium, NDK Crystals, Okaya Electric Industries Co. Ltd., and Total Phase, Inc.


"As embedded systems become more connected, Renesas Electronics is enabling new ways to gather data, manage resources, make intelligent decisions and interact with the world around us,” said Rob Dautel, senior manager, ecosystems, Renesas Electronics America. “We’re committed to our vision of a ‘Smart Society’ where electronic systems use less power, are more intuitive and improve overall quality of life. In the RL78 Green Energy Challenge, we’re looking for designs that define the essence of Green Energy, and inspire others to stand up and do the same."


Enter to Win Your Share of $20,000 in Cash Prizes

Renesas will provide a RL78 Renesas Demonstration Kit (RDK) to up to 780 contestants who provide a qualifying abstract related to green energy. The use of the RDK is encouraged but not required. The contest will be coordinated across North America, Brazil, Europe and Asia. To join the competition, register at beginning March 26, 2012.

Renesas Electronics America will award the following prizes: First place, $8,000, plus a trip to Renesas DevCon 2012; Second place, $5,000; Third place $2,000; and five honorable mentions receiving $500 each. Renesas and partners will also have weekly drawing for prizes such as books, t-shirts, software and hardware solutions. Participating partners will also present their own hardware and software prize awards, based on criteria for their respective prizes. Details of the prizes and judging criteria can be found on the contest page.


Judges will select the winning green energy designs based on a scoring of technical merit, design originality, usefulness, cost effectiveness, and documentation. Final judging and the winner selections will be announced during a special ceremony at the Renesas DevCon in October in Anaheim, Calif.


About the RL78G13 RDK

The Renesas Demonstration Kit (RDK) for RL78G13 is an evaluation and demonstration tool for Renesas RL78G13 MCUs. The goal is to provide the user with a powerful debug and demonstration platform targeted at common applications. To aid in the evaluation of the RL78 family of microcontrollers, Renesas includes IAR's Embedded Workbench Kickstart Edition for the RL78. This full-featured tool suite allows for up to 16KB of application code to be implemented on the RL78G13 RDK. To facilitate RDK programming, the IAR tools support the Renesas TK Debugger, which is on-board the RL78G13 RDK. For more information, visit:


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About Circuit Cellar and Elektor Magazines

Circuit Cellar and Elektor have been providing electrical engineers with insightful analysis, hands-on project articles and in-depth product reviews for fifty years. Circuit Cellar delivers everything professional engineers need to thrive and excel in the ever-evolving world of embedded systems while Elektor provides an interactive multimedia platform for everyone with an interest in electronics. Find out more by visiting and


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

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.