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Renesas expands use of capacitive touch-enabled 32bit MCUs

03 Dec 2014

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Renesas Electronics Corp. has rolled out the RX113 group of MCUs to extend the use of touch key in healthcare, building automation and home appliance applications. The device portfolio is offered as a single-chip solution boasting unique touch sensor IP and leading-edge low-power technologies, indicated the company.

According to Renesas, the line-up enables significantly reduced power, size and development costs for entry-level devices in various markets, as well as for other cost-sensitive, capacitive touch-based applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) segment. The innovative touch sensor IP core achieves both high noise immunity and high sensitivity, offering touch key operation on wet and curved touch panels, the company added.

RX113 MCUs

Based on Renesas' RX CPU core, the RX113 group of MCUs promises to deliver the highest performance, lowest power, advanced connectivity and extensive DSP capability compared to other entry-level 32bit MCUs, noted the company. In addition to a capacitive-touch sensing unit and unprecedented ultra-low power, these full-featured 32bit MCUs also support LCD control, USB 2.0, audio and more. The RX113 devices support multiple memory configurations and communications peripherals to keep pace with expanding embedded systems design requirements including: up to 512KB of flash memory and 64KB of SRAM; segment LCD control/drive capability up to 288 segments for support of the latest system displays; I2S for audio processing, serial sound interface (SSI) and serial peripheral interface (SPI) protocols; 12bit ADC with internal voltage reference, and a 12bit DAC and a temperature sensor; and complete DSP processing capability including hardware-based divide, for efficient near-sensor processing.

The MCUs support both mutual- and self-capacitance methods for key manipulation detection. The capacitive touch sensing unit supports up to 36 channels of key input (in mutual-capacitance mode). The self-capacitance method provides significantly improved noise immunity and sensitivity compared to previous implementations, boasted Renesas. The MCUs also support Renesas' first mutual-capacitance method, which allows touch key operation even when the user is wearing gloves and is highly resistant to incorrect detection even when there is water on the touch key area itself. The capacitive touch sensing unit supports acrylic panels over 10mm thick, which allows for flexible designs such as those using curved panels, to be implemented. Renesas has improved the sensitivity by about five times, enabling user interfaces with non-traditional surfaces (e.g., wet panels or gloves) to be implemented.

The 32bit RX113 MCUs also claims to achieve the industry's highest level of power efficiency, featuring operating mode power consumption as low as 0.1mA/MHz (typical) and only 0.44uA power consumption in low-power mode (RAM contents retained). They also achieve power consumption as low as 1.6uA in LCD drive mode (internal step-up and 1/3 bias operation).

The RX113 group has three different run modes, three low-power modes and a flexible clock system. For instance, the low power fast wakeup capability enables the MCUs to operate at 0.1mA/MHz in run mode and 0.44uA in software standby from which it can wake-up in only 4.8us. It integrates a zero wait state flash with erase/write as low as 1.8V, 1KB erase block size and background operation (BGO), and offers erase times as low as 10ms per block, detailed the company.

Renesas provides a comprehensive development ecosystem for the RX family including e2 studio, Eclipse-based IDE, as well as compilers, debuggers, code generation tools and flash programmers. The RX113 devices will be supported by the extensive RX ecosystem, comprising a range of third-party tools, RTOS and middleware. Support for the IAR compiler and IAR Embedded Workbench IDE and for the Micrium RTOS and Spectrum components is also available.

Samples of the RX113 MCUs are available in package pin counts ranging from 64 to 100 pins and on-chip flash memory capacities ranging from 128-512KB for a total of twelve individual products. Pricing varies depending on memory capacity, package and number of pins. For example, the RX113 MCU with 128KB of flash equipped in a 100-pin LQFP package is priced at $3.00 per unit in 10,000-unit quantities. Mass production is scheduled to begin in February 2015 and is expected to reach a combined volume of 1,000,000 units per month by January 2016.

RX family roadmap

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