Takuya Anzai
Takuya Anzai
IoT Product Engineer
Published: March 4, 2022

In recent years, hygienic UI (User Interface) control is the key requirement for the main controlling function of industrial/consumer equipment. Remote control of air conditioners is no exception, and the following controlling functions are being considered for implementation: a touch key function that is easy to maintain, a voice recognition function for contactless control, and a remote controlling function via the cloud. I believe that many developers are about to develop their future products with these functions.

On the other hand, there are many cases where the MCU used in the main system of conventional industrial/consumer equipment does not have the peripheral functions to implement the UI for touch key or voice recognition, so additional components are needed for the implementation of these functions.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an MCU that can achieve higher performance than existing MCUs and realizes these functions in a single chip? Renesas has launched the RX671 32-bit MCU in our mainstream RX600 series lineup to solve this challenge.

The RX671 incorporates the peripheral functions for touch keys and voice recognition and has the performance that can enable cloud connectivity (RXv3 core running at 120MHz, 2MB flash memory and 384KB SRAM). It can realize those functions in a single chip. Therefore, compared to a multi-chip configuration, it is possible to shorten the development time by reducing the number of components and simplifying the system.

Now, I will introduce the reference demo for the evaluation of these functions. This demo resembles the remote-control function of an air conditioner, and it is capable of starting the air-blowing function, changing of mode, and setting the temperature by voice or touch. In addition, by connecting to the AWS cloud, you can monitor and change the temperature setting via the cloud.

The biggest advantage of using this demo is to manage multiple functions in a project, which is not an easy task. For example, the voice recognition function requires the execution of voice processing within a certain period of time, and the management of this within this specific period is critical in implementing multiple functions.

In this demo, multiple functions are provided in a combined single project. By referring to the demo, you can quickly address the challenge and reduce the development time and workloads of the PoC or products.

This demo uses a commercially available Renesas RX671 Starter Kit+ and a Wi-Fi Pmod Expansion Board for cloud connectivity evaluation.

RX671 enables all functions with a single chip

The video of this demo is also available. Please watch it for more details.

How was it? The shifting from a mechanical key to a touch key, voice recognition and/or remote control with cloud connectivity is happening not only to the remote controller of air conditioners but also to the UI of many industrial/consumer equipment. Please try this demo to meet these new demands.

In addition, we have also published a blog on the RX671. Please check it out!
The New RX671 Microcontroller Meets the Ever-evolving Demands of IoT Devices

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RX671 HMI+Cloud Single Chip Solution

Introducing a solution that enables HMI and cloud connectivity functions on a single chip using the RX671. This solution provides a reference demo for a comprehensive experience of voice recognition, touch keys, and cloud connectivity. Demo software can be downloaded from the Renesas website. For details, refer to the application note "RX671 Group Voice recognition / Touch and Cloud solution using Renesas Starter Kit+ for RX671 Rev.1.00 - Sample Code (ZIP)".