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16bit MCUs to enable vehicle control systems

28 Oct 2015

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Renesas Electronics Corp. has unveiled what it describes as low-power 16bit microcontrollers (MCUs) for vehicle control systems such as body control modules (BCMs), air conditioners and power seats. Part of the RL78 family of MCUs, the RL78/F15 group is a high-functionality group that combines low-power consumption with high processing performance and CAN communication that can be used independently for control and diagnostics, stated the company.

Fully compatible with the RL78/F13 and RL78/F14 groups, the RL78/F15 product line-up includes a a 144-pin package; packages with pin counts of 48-pins and above come with up to 512KB of on-chip flash memory. When combined with the RL78/F13 and RL78/F14 groups, the resulting line-up includes a total of 127 product versions with pin counts ranging from 20- to 144-pins, enabling system manufacturers to select an MCU that is optimal for their system requirements. The RL78/F15 group is software compatible with the RL78/F13 and RL78/F14 groups, thereby system makers can select these products with future functional extension in mind. The added specifications simplify dealing with cases where memory capacity or pin count eventually becomes inadequate.

The 36 product versions of the RL78/F15 group extend the RL78 family 16bit MCUs for vehicle control. By adopting the RL78 family of MCUs in multiple ECUs, system manufactures can use common software resources and thereby boost development efficiency.

RL78/F15 group

The RL78/F15 group contains the same CPU core as the RL78/F13 and RL78/F14 groups. This provides full compatibility and simplifies software portability. Therefore, when upgrades to the ECU or the sudden software additions or changes due to system development result in insufficient ROM or RAM capacity, or pin count, the possibilities for accommodating such changes are expanded. Additionally, the RL78/F15 group employs fabrication process technology, which makes it possible to shorten the certification procedures.

Two CAN channels are provided, allowing CAN communication to be used independently for control and diagnostics. In addition, there are up to three hardware LIN channels, which is geared for applications requiring centralised control of communication, such as body control modules (BCMs). Finally, support for inter equipment bus (IEBus) makes it possible to accommodate car audio applications in the vehicle information field.

The development environment for the RL78/F15 consists of Renesas' CS+ integrated development environment, the IAR EWRL78 Embedded Workbench, the Renesas E1 on-chip debugging emulator as well as Renesas' IECUBE full-functional in-circuit emulator.

Samples of the RL78/F15 group are available in 36 product versions. Pricing varies depending on the package. For example, the RL78/F15 with 48-pin package and 512KB of on-chip flash memory is priced at $7 per unit. Mass production of the RL78/F15 group is scheduled to begin in July 2016 and is expected to reach a volume of 1,000,000 units per month for all product versions combined in July 2017. (Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.)

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