石黒 裕紀
Hiroki Ishiguro
Senior Principal Engineer
Published: January 27, 2022

In recent years, the ratio of software development has increased in system (hardware/software) development. This is especially so when implementing an internet connection function into the system, which is quite remarkable.

In the past, we would have used an MPU of 500MHz class and Linux OS to implement and address this market trend. However, with the internet connection equipment going smaller in size with lower power consumption, there are more cases now where a smaller MCU of 100MHz class with a real-time OS is adopted to connect to the internet. To install the OS (Operating System) into the system, there have been some challenges such as the cost of licensing and the difficulty of development.
Therefore, Renesas has collaborated with AWS (Amazon Web Service) and Microsoft, making AWS FreeRTOS and Microsoft Azure RTOS available in the RX family.

Both AWS and Microsoft have already deployed very stable cloud services worldwide. Users do not need to redevelop the server on the cloud side, and the real-time OS provided to the system side is also extremely high quality.

Though the real-time OS can process packets flowing through the internet, it does not perform the initial setting of the RX family or the control of some of the peripheral/functions such as the Ethernet controller that are built in the RX family. These are controlled by using the RX family software package “RX Driver Package” that Renesas developed, or the code generated by “Code Generator” automatically. The software package is included in the real-time OS and distributed from GitHub through operation verification by AWS or Microsoft (Figure 1). For those unfamiliar with GitHub, the OS source code can be imported into the user project by downloading the required data from GitHub via the Integrated Development Environment (e2 studio/CS+) as shown in Figure 2. 

Figure 1
Figure 1.
Figure 2:
Figure 2.

By combining the software and the tools shown in Figures 1 and 2, it is possible to develop higher-quality equipment with an internet connection and bring your system to the market in a shorter time. In addition, you can also develop under a bare metal environment (without real-time OS) by using the software package only.

Thus, this solution has solved the difficulty to implement the internet connection function in embedded devices and the challenges that users must collect, build and customize the fragmented sample code by themselves. 

Since I joined the company in 2003, I have wanted to develop ultra-small wireless devices with internet connection function (without battery), and I have come closer to my dream over these 20 years. We would like to continue to develop smaller, lower power and much easier-to-use MCUs and their compatible software.
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