Ashish Ahuja
Ashish Ahuja
Principal Product Manager and Product Marketing Manager
Published: March 25, 2022

The RA MCU innovation kits for IoT enable users to effortlessly evaluate the features of different RA MCU Groups and develop sophisticated IoT and embedded systems applications. The RA2 series kits feature small pin count MCUs based on Renesas’ low-power process technology for your next energy-efficient IoT and embedded product.

The RA2 series innovation kits provide differentiated functionality that users can utilize to develop proof of concepts, solutions, and demos for various portable consumer, small kitchen, medical, healthcare, wearable, sensor, and data acquisition, and general-purpose applications. The kits meet the requirements of international standards for EMC/EMI, waste, recycling, and material selection, and safety allowing for multi-regional compliance and broad use-cases.

Renesas RA2 Series Innovation Kits for Low-Power IoT Applications

Effortless Innovation Made Possible

The RA2 series kits are based on a patented architecture that provides an unparalleled combination of standardization and flexibility that helps users shorten the learning curve, speed up development, allow time for differentiated innovation, and take end-products to market faster.

The evaluation board included in the kits is architected in two sections:

  1. Standard section – This section consists of the Ecosystem and System Control Access area that features onboard debugging, ecosystem expansion, serial connectivity, power regulation, user I/Os, reset, and boot configuration. This section is present in a mostly standard configuration on all the boards based on the new architecture.
  2. Flexible section – This section is unique to each board. It comprises the Special Feature Access and MCU Native MCU Pin Access area. The Special Feature Access area provides high-value functionally provided by MCU and is optionally present. The Native MCU Pin Access area provides direct access to the RA MCU terminals via male pin headers and clamping loops for MCU and USB (if present on the MCU) current measurement. This section is present on all the boards based on the new architecture.
RA Kits Design Architecture
RA2 Series Kits Design Architecture

The advanced debugging capabilities available on RA2 series kits provide users the flexibility and convenience to debug the code quickly, easily, and inexpensively. The RA2 series kits feature three debugging modes.

  1. Debug On-board
  2. Debug-Out
  3. Debug-In

Using these modes, users can not only debug the RA MCU on their RA kit, but also on their custom PCB. The kits support various debugging interfaces such as Serial Wire Debug, JTAG, and Embedded Trace Macrocell and have standard 10-pin and 20-pin connectors that most external debuggers can be attached to. The debug modes can be configured using the debug selection jumpers provided on the board. The debug modes are implemented consistently across different RA kits, so once users learn debugging the code using one RA kit, they can reapply their knowledge to debug the code on another RA kit. To learn more, refer to Accelerate Debugging using RA MCU Innovation Kits for IoT.

RA2 Series Kits Debugging Modes (showing EK-RA2L1)
RA2 Series Kits Debugging Modes (showing EK-RA2L1)

Enhance Functionality on Your Terms: The RA2 series is architected to provide users multitude of options to expand the functionality of the kits to create a variety of applications using the third-party hardware and software IP available for the RA2 microcontrollers.

The RA2 series kits feature expansion ports compatible with popular ecosystems allowing users to simultaneously connect multiple hardware add-ons. There are hundreds of plug-in boards that users can choose from and build custom proof-of-concept hardware. The supported ecosystems are:

  1. SeeedGrove® system (I2C & analog)
  2. Digilent Pmod™ (SPI & UART)
  3. Arduino™ (Uno R3)
  4. MikroElektronika™ mikroBUS
  5. SparkFun® Qwiic® (I2C)
RA2 Series Kits Ecosystems Expansion (showing EK-RA2L1 and EK-RA2E1)
RA2 Series Kits Ecosystems Expansion (showing EK-RA2L1 and EK-RA2E1)

Cutting-edge software, cloud solutions, and tools for the RA microcontrollers are available from leading providers such as Microsoft, Amazon, Segger, Alibaba, IAR Systems, Tata, Arm, and Huawei. To learn more about such offerings, visit the RA Partner Ecosystem page.

When the users are ready to design their custom PCB with feature enhancements, they may refer to the kit design package that includes schematics, bill of material, design files, 3D drawing, manufacturing files, and more. The design package of each kit can be downloaded from the Documentation and Downloads sections of the corresponding kit webpage.

Take the Guess Work Out of Your Innovation Experience

Renesas recommends new users a 5-step, systematic and methodical approach that takes the guesswork out of the innovation experience, making it hassle-free and fun. Doing so allows for structured and orderly exploration of many resources provided for the RA2 series kits. To learn more, refer to Innovate IoT with RA MCU Kits in 5 Easy Steps.

The RA2 series kits come pre-programmed with a Quick Start Example Project that showcases the key features of the MCU. The RA2 series kits also come with world-class technical collateral including a quick start guide, user’s manual, design package, example projects, middleware and drivers (Flexible Software Package), development tools (e2 studio), flash programming utilities (Renesas Flash Programmer), and more to help speed up product development, saving time and cost. To learn more, refer to Example Projects for RA MCU Innovation Kits for IoT and Quickly Programming RA MCU Innovation Kits for IoT.

RA2 series innovation kits for low-power IoT applications enable users to evaluate the features of RA2 MCU conveniently and methodically develop proof of concepts, solutions and demos for their end products.

Users are invited to join the Renesas community on the RA support forum. This is where they can ask questions and get assistance from Renesas experts and collaborate with other members of the Renesas community.

We hope that users enjoy innovating with the RA2 series microcontroller kits as much as we have enjoyed developing them. Users can order their favorite kit and bring their big ideas to life!

Learn more at

Related blogs:

  1. Innovate IoT with RA MCU Kits in 5 Easy Steps
  2. Quickly Programming RA MCU Innovation Kits for IoT
  3. Accelerate Debugging using RA MCU Innovation Kits for IoT
  4. Example Projects for RA MCU Innovation Kits for IoT

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