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Michael Sarpa
Michael Sarpa
PMM, Embedded SW

Time for a new MCU Design?

New MCU designs can be based on past versions of existing designs and engineers regularly convert or transfer designs into new or modified MCUs. However, quite often, engineers are asked to create new designs from scratch and may also be using or adopting new software and a new MCU family to take advantage of advanced features, performance, current consumption, and other factors. Designers selecting the Renesas Flexible Software Package (FSP) and the ARM-based RA MCU device families are provided with ways to get started on a new design quickly and easily.
So, what is the best way to get started on a new design from scratch? There are certainly many factors to consider, including understanding of the software development environment, figuring out what features and peripherals are needed for the design, deciding on the device type, package, performance, current consumption, etc. Once these basic decisions are made, the design can proceed.

One of the quickest ways to get going on the new design is to take advantage of the extensive Example Projects available from Renesas that support the peripherals within each RA MCU device.

What is an Example Project? 

Example Projects serve as a reference for understanding the operation of various components available for use in both hardware and software on a RA MCU. These example projects are built to show the most popular usage of the component while minimizing the need for additional hardware. This principle guides the selection of the various configuration parameters and usage of the API for the component supported in FSP. Users can access these EPs and can download and import the source code examples for each peripheral function directly into their new design.

How do I find the Example Projects?

There are a few ways to access the Example Project information and source code. For ease of use, EPs for a specific device are combined into a Project Bundle. Once you have picked the MCU device, you can download the complete Project Bundle for the device to get the associated EPs. You can download the Application Note with an overall description, associated FSP release, and list of available EPs. There is another link to access the source code.

Find EPs using Project Bundles:

  1. Go to the main FSP page at Flexible Software Package (FSP) | Renesas

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    Using Example Projects to Support RA MCU Designs1
  2. In the Documentation section, enter the device name (for example, RA2E2)

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    Using Example Projects to Support RA MCU Designs2
  3. Find the Project Bundle in the list (in this example, “EK-RA2E2 Example Project Bundle”)

  4. Download the Application Note on the main link and the source code on the second link.

 

 NOTE: Project Bundles can also be accessed by going to the main product page for the device.

  1. Go to the device page (in this example, RA2E2) at RA2E2 - 48MHz Arm® Cortex®-M23 Ultra-Low Power General Purpose Microcontroller | Renesas
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    Using Example Projects to Support RA MCU Designs3
  2. Search within the Documentation section to find the Project Bundles and source code.
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    Using Example Projects to Support RA MCU Designs4

Find EPs using GitHub:

  1. Go to the main Github page at GitHub - renesas/ra-fsp-examples: Example projects for Renesas RA MCU family
  2. Select the “example_projects” folder
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    Using Example Projects to Support RA MCU Designs5
  3. Select the appropriate device (again, using RA2E2 as the example)
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    Using Example Projects to Support RA MCU Designs6
  4. The available EPs are now shown. Select the necessary EPs and download as needed.
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    Using Example Projects to Support RA MCU Designs7

How do I import and run these Example Projects?
Now that you have downloaded the application note and source code for the EPs, how do I use them? To further understand how to use the Example Projects:

  1. Go to the “example_projects” folder using the link above 
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    Using Example Projects to Support RA MCU Designs8
       
  2. Download the Example Project Usage Guide document
  3. This document provides details on:
    1. HW and SW requirements
    2. Tool installation
    3. Importing and running the project
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      Using Example Projects to Support RA MCU Designs9

Conclusion

Example Projects can help kickstart designs and reduce the time necessary to complete an MCU design. Many of the EPs are basic functions that designers can import directly into their designs, reducing the low-level design time and allowing designers to focus on higher level design development and specific targeted application functionality. With the extensive features and offerings supporting the RA MCU family and the Flexible Software Package, Example Projects can augment, simplify, and reduce the MCU design time.

Take advantage of the Example Projects available for Renesas RA MCUs to start your design today!
 

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