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32bit MCUs target inverter control systems

27 Apr 2015

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Renesas Electronics Corp. has introduced the RX23T group of microcontrollers (MCUs) geared to enable highly precise control of inverter circuits used in energy-efficient electric home appliances, industrial machinery and office equipment. Based on the fast RX core, the 32bit MCUs are aimed at developing high-performance inverter control systems for applications such as DC motor control in energy-efficient electric home appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and fans; entry-level to mid-range industrial equipment such as general-purpose inverters, electrical tools, and drones; and office equipment.

The functions are optimised for single inverter drive, including the inclusion of an on-chip floating point unit (FPU) that reduces code size and development time both by 30 per cent.


Energy efficiency regulations have become stricter in many countries in recent years, expanding to include entry-level and mid-range energy-efficient electric home appliances and industrial equipment. System designers in these price-competitive markets are looking for new approaches to achieve the reduced power consumption desired within increasingly constrained budget requirements for energy-efficient, cost-attractive products. The demand for more compact, more highly efficient, and quieter motors in office equipment such as printers and multifunction units has led to a move away from stepping motors and toward the adoption of brushless DC motors. There is a need for more highly precise position control without increased system cost.

To respond to these market demands for improved energy efficiency, more precise control and lower development cost, Renesas has developed the RX23T group of MCUs, offering an excellent cost-to-performance ratio. The MCUs provide an optimised subset of the functions of the RX62T group, which has a proven track record in the inverter control field, designed specifically for use in single inverter drive applications.

Highly precise inverter control and reduced development time for mid-range and entry-level devices

Inverter control requires a large number of arithmetic operations involving decimal points, and it is useful to perform these using a floating-point arithmetic unit. However, cost constraints on mid-range and affordably priced power-efficient electric home appliances and industrial equipment have prevented the use of expensive MCUs with on-chip FPUs. Instead, the most common approach has been to develop software for a fixed-point arithmetic unit. The RX23T group MCUs incorporate an on-chip FPU without increased costs, eliminating the need to implement the decimal position shifting required when using a fixed-point arithmetic unit. This simplifies the software configuration and can reduce code size and development time by as much as 30 per cent. The on-chip peripheral functions are also optimised for single inverter drive, boosting the cost-to-performance ratio and making it possible to add high-precision inverter control to mid-range and entry-level products.

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