Renesas Electronics Adds Robust Control Algorithm to RX63T Microcontroller to Offer Solution for Easy Implementation of Digital Power Management Control

Enable Dramatic Cost Reduction in System Design due to Savings on Manual Tuning Time Using RX63T Embedded PWM Delay Generation Function and Digital Power Management Controller

20 Sep 2013

TOKYO, Japan, September 20, 2013 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the addition of two new functions on its 41 products with pin counts of 100 pins to 144 pins in the RX63T Group of microcontrollers (MCUs), which derives from the company's successful RX600 Series of high-speed, high-performance midrange MCUs. The newly added functions are a PWM (pulse-width modulation) delay generation function and a digital power management control function, which provide an easy implementation of digital power management control solutions, which became a focus key technology for implementing an energy-efficient “smart society.” The PWM delay generation function enables high-resolution adjustment of PWM output in increments as small as 312.5 picoseconds (one-trillionth of a second), allowing more precise and optimized power control. The digital power management control function entails the integration of a digital power management controller (DPC) in hardware. It provides a robust control algorithm that automatically compensates for inconsistency in the characteristics of the elements within the power supply unit. This results in enormous savings, since the system design engineering can reduce the man-hours work required for manual tuning of the power supply. The new functions are both driven by high-speed hardware, which allows the use of higher switching frequencies and contributes to more compact power supply dimensions.

 

Due to global warming and energy shortages, demands for more eco-friendly lifestyle are rising. There is emphasis on adding energy-saving functions to electric household appliances and consumer products such as air conditioners and refrigerators. At the same time, there is demand for low-power design in embedded devices used in industrial equipment. As a way to reduce power consumption, digital control is increasingly being adopted as an alternative to conventional analog power supply configurations. As a result, increasing importance is being placed on more precise power management control to boost efficiency, achieve greater compactness, and improve design efficiency.

 

Although MCUs have been used to implement digital power management control, the number of MCU models capable of performing the high-resolution PWM control required for this purpose was limited. In addition, precise tuning is required to match the load characteristics of the device subject to power management control. A special tuning process was required to compensate for inconsistency in the characteristics (deviation from the design values) of the elements within the power supply unit. Also, digital power management control requires complex calculations for feedback control. Since the processing needs to be done in software, a higher performance controller would be demanded. Renesas provides the RX63T MCU, the latest evolution of the widely scalable RX 32-bit family, with features such as a high resolution PWM timer, 100 MHz CPU performance and all the tuning mechanisms to design a highly efficient single chip solution.

 

Key Features of the new PWM delay generation function and DPC function on the RX63T Group of MCUs:

  • (1) High-resolution 312.5-picosecond PWM output function

PWM output precision (resolution) is essential for power management control, and the new PWM output function achieves a maximum resolution of 312.5 picoseconds (100 MHz operation). This high-resolution PWM output function, when combined with the excellent CPU performance of Renesas' RX core, enables a higher level of precision for inverter and converter control. This enables highly efficient digital power management in applications such as server power supplies and general-purpose power supply systems.

 

  • (2) Robust control algorithm to compensate for inconsistency in the characteristics of the elements on the user board

Implementing the control algorithm required by the digital power supply in hardware enables greater compactness and on the other hand the use of faster switching frequencies needed for higher precision (maximum: 1.85 MHz). The robust control algorithm automatically compensates for inconsistency in the characteristics of the individual elements in the customer's system, realizing a high level of stability. This eliminates the need for system designers to perform tuning after mounting the power supply ICs. This results in dramatic reduction of man-hours. The above functions are implemented in hardware, so the powerful processing capabilities of the 32-bit RX core can be applied to the main processing routine (motor/inverter control, etc.) while DC/DC power management control takes place simultaneously.

 

For an easy start to development, an RX63T starter kit is provided. For debugging purposes, two products are available from Renesas: the low-cost E1 Emulator, which also functions as a flash programmer, and the high-functionality E20 Emulator, which includes trace, RAM monitoring, and other advanced functions. Third party J-Link debuggers are also available.

 

Refer to the separate sheet for the main specifications of the RX63T Group of MCUs with the newly added functions.

 

Pricing and Availability

Samples of the RX63T Group of MCUs with the new added functions will begin from September 2013 with pricing dependent on memory capacity and package type. For example, an MCU equipped in a 100-pin LQFP package with 256 KB of flash memory and 24 KB of RAM in 1K resell units is priced at US$4.1. The MCUs with the newly added functions will be distinguished from the original RX63T MCUs by their product order numbers. Mass production is scheduled to begin in Q2 2014 and is expected to reach a combined volume of 700,000 units per month including previously available product versions by 2015. (Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice)

 

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


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.