Renesas Electronics America, a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, is helping designers extend battery life and accelerate time to market for connected healthcare, wearables and other connected portable applications, with the RL78/G1D Group of microcontrollers (MCUs) – a new Intelligent wireless solution that supports the Bluetooth® Smart 4.1 specification. The highly integrated RL78/G1D MCUs combine low-power Bluetooth® transceiver technology with Renesas’ ultra-low power RL78 MCUs to deliver a powerful, energy-efficient wireless solution for a range of connected medical, consumer, and industrial applications.
“It is an exciting and challenging time in what is really the infancy of the IoT ecosystem, and designers require flexible, powerful yet power-efficient embedded solutions to match the evolving standards and application needs,” said Vin D’Agostino, Vice President of the General Purpose Products Business Unit, Renesas Electronics America. “The RL78/G1D devices were developed with this in mind, leveraging our industry-leading low-power technology, adaptable RF capabilities, and MCU design expertise to help customers bring their wireless applications to market efficiently, easily, and cost effectively.”
Low-Power Intelligent Wireless MCUs for the Internet of Things
Renesas designed the Bluetooth Smart-compliant RL78/G1D MCUs to address key customer needs around wireless design complexity, energy efficiency, time to market, and budget constraints.
The RL71/G1D MCUs feature a combination of technologies to help extend battery life for connected devices. The on-chip RF transceiver enables wireless operation at among the lowest power consumption levels in the industry – 3.5 milliamperes (mA) during reception and 4.3 mA during transmission at 0 dBm – delivering substantially reduced power consumption that is essential for battery operated wireless devices. Adaptable RF technology enables adjustments to the power consumption during wireless operation to an optimal level, prioritizing current consumption or communication range depending on the distance. This flexibility dramatically lowers the power consumption during near distance wireless communication which, combined with the on-chip integration of most elements required for the antenna connection, contributes to reduced external component costs.
The transceiver supports the current Bluetooth 4.1 specification, which was developed by the Bluetooth SIG to improve customer usability as well as support IP-based connections – a key wireless link for the Internet of Things. These, combined with the excellent power efficiency of the RL78 family of ultra-low-power MCUs, provide customers with a powerful, energy-efficient wireless solution. For example, when wireless communication takes place at one-second intervals while maintaining a connected state with another wireless device, the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) functionality can be added with the industry-leading low average current of 10 µA. The RL78/G1D MCUs support Bluetooth® v4.1 in the embedded and modem (radio only) modes.
Simplifying RF Design
With the new devices, Renesas has simplified the antenna connection circuit design by integrating the balun elements – a key element for matching RF path – on chip. This allows designers to connect RF transceiver signal terminal directly to the external antenna terminal, eliminating the need for discrete balun elements, and reducing development, product, component, and production costs. Both PCB based and chip antenna types are supported, with connection being single-ended.
Accelerating Bluetooth-Enabled Development
With the RL78/G1D MCUs, Renesas provides several tools that enable customers to easily develop Bluetooth Smart applications and reduce the time required for development while making effective use of development environment and software resources. The firmware over the air (FOTA) feature makes it convenient for designers to upgrade applications in the field. The RL78/G1D MCUs also come with an evaluation kit (FCC, IC, CE, MIC, KC certified) that allows system designers to evaluate wireless characteristics and initial communication behaviors. A Bluetooth SIG-qualified protocol stack, PC GUI Evaluation tool, Radio certification guide allows designers to save time and cost.
The RL78/G1D Group is available in six product versions, with 256, 192 and 128 KB on-chip flash memory options, and industrial or consumer grade for each memory option. Samples are available now. Mass production is scheduled to begin in October 2015.
For more details on the RL78/G1D devices, visit http://am.renesas.com/products/mpumcu/rl78/rl78g1x/rl78g1d/index.jsp. Bluetooth Smart Application page has information about our portfolio, solution kits and reference designs. For any questions regarding Bluetooth Smart products from Renesas please visit – Bluetooth page on Renesas Rulz.
About Renesas Electronics Corporation
Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), the world’s number one supplier of microcontrollers, is a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions including microcontrollers, SoC solutions and a broad-range of analog and power devices. Business operations began as Renesas Electronics in April 2010 through the integration of NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723) and Renesas Technology Corp., with operations spanning research, development, design and manufacturing for a wide range of applications. Headquartered in Japan, Renesas Electronics has subsidiaries in 20 countries worldwide.