Sakae Ito
Vice President IoT Platform Business Division
Published: May 28, 2020

Renesas RX 32-bit MCU family celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Since I join the company 35 years ago in 1984, I have been consistently involved in the development and commercialization of microcontrollers. And it's no exaggeration to say that I've gone through so many ups and downs with lots of pleasure and bitterness with the RX family for the last ten years. I have been involved in many products’ development and business projects, among which RX is the most memorable product. Personally, RX gave me the opportunity to connect with many people inside and outside of the company. I would like to express my gratitude once again, as we celebrate this RX 10th anniversary milestone.

In 2003, Mitsubishi and Hitachi's semiconductor division merged, and NEC Electronics joined in 2010. RX was originally planned and developed as an integrated successor to Mitsubishi & Hitachi's conventional microcontrollers, and later in the product development, we expanded and enhanced our lineup to succeed the NEC microcontrollers. The RX was developed as a collection of accumulated technologies from Mitsubishi, Hitachi, and NEC, and we have worked to expand our business by making full use of our business foundations, including sales, production, and partners. I am very pleased to have grown RX as one of our major pillars in our semiconductor business after 10 Years.

On the other hand, it has never been a smooth sailing path for the past decade. In 2011, shortly after its debut, the company was hit by an unforgettable Great East Japan Earthquake, and the production of RX was stopped. I still clearly remember delivering several pieces of samples to the customers from a limited inventory.

In addition, in the aftermath of our management crisis, there were times when we could not proceed with the development as we thought. However, despite these difficulties, RX's business continued to get support even till today from all the stakeholders, including the constant development efforts of engineers, the enthusiasm of sales members, the hard work of the production sites that support high quality and delivery, and our partners who support our products. The RX Family has an extensive lineup of products ranging from RX100 to RX700 and has delivered over 600 million products to customers to date. In addition, the CPU core, which is the heart of the RX microcomputer, has also increased its performance, leading to the third generation.

The microcontrollers are not a single-item business, but rather a product family-type business that offers a wide range of functions and performance ranging from low-end to high-end, as well as variation of on-chip memories and packages, and that also evolves in the form of adding new products over time. Therefore, even though the product life is long, and the RX has reached the 10 years milestone, it is still standing at an adolescent stage in terms of the overall product family lifetime. Sales are growing year by year. New product development is also progressing steadily. There is no doubt that RX will be a major pillar of our 32-bit microcontrollers in the next 10 or 20 years.

The family name RX comes from Renesas Xtreme. It symbolizes our enthusiasm and our commitment to our customers, not only in terms of the functions and performance of microcomputers, but also in all aspects such as quality, support, and delivery. As we celebrate this 10th anniversary milestone, we would like to move on to a new stage to deliver “RX Value” to our customers around the world.

To demonstrate the “RX Value”, we will showcase our most innovative products and technologies starting with wireless connectivity. Stay tuned to find out more about “RX Value” by visiting the RX webpage.

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