Renesas’ Recent MCU Ventures Tackle Actuators and Industrial Drives

December 26, 2021 by Abdulwaliy Oyekunle

As one of the leading MCU manufacturers, Renesas has released a number of new microcontroller families in the past few months for various embedded applications. Here is a basic run down of these series.

Renesas has a broad portfolio of microcontrollers for applications spanning IoT, robotics, automation, automotive, consumer wearables, and many more.


RA Family Portfolio

Renesas' RA family portfolio. 


In the past several weeks, Renesas has released a number of new MCUs to accelerate embedded design. Here are a few basic specs to know about the new families. 


RA4W1 MCUs for Security and Robotics

The first new family of microcontrollers is the RA4W1 series designed for power efficiency. 

The 32-bit family of microcontrollers is built to support applications in security and robotics. The group includes the Arm Cortex -M4 at its processing core with a maximum clock speed of 48 MHz. In addition, the RA4W1 series features a 2.4 GHz radio with Bluetooth 5.0 low energy. These new devices have 56 pins and are packaged in a quad-flat no-leads package.


Block diagram of the RA4W1 series

Block diagram of the RA4W1 series.


The RA4W1 MCUs can be operated from a power supply voltage ranging from -0.5 V to 4 V. When working with the product, it is recommended to connect a 0.1 μF capacitor between the power supply pin and ground pin.  


RL78 MCUs for Automotive Actuators

Renesas has also recently released a new automotive MCU suitable for use in smart actuators and sensors. The RL78/F24 and RL78/F23 both operate on the RL78 core with a maximum clock speed of 40 MHz.


Block diagram of the RL78/F2X microcontroller

Block diagram of the RL78/F2X microcontroller. 

Even with support for high temperature, Renesas says the microcontrollers still feature a super low-power consumption. With an accelerated processing performance, the devices are said to handle complex computations to achieve the best performance of a brushless DC (BLDC) motor control as well as an optimized DC/DC converter support. The two products also meet the ISO26262 safety design specifications.

The RL78/F24 has 256 KB and 24 KB flash memory and RAM, respectively; the RL78/F23 has 128KB and 12KB flash memory and RAM, respectively.


RA6T2  MCUs for Motor Control

Like the RL78/F24 and RL78/F23 microcontrollers, the RA6T2 family of microcontrollers also supports embedded system designs for motor control. This series, however, is designed to efficiently control two brushless DC (BLDC) motors at the same time.

The high-performance processing core of the RA6T2 series features the Arm Cortex -M33 with a clock speed of 240 MHz.  The series could be comfortably operated from a power supply voltage ranging from 2.7 V to 3.6 V. The product comes in three 100-, 64-, and 48-pin low-profile quad-flat packages and two 64-, and 48-pin quad-flat no-lead packages.


Block diagram of the RA6T2

Block diagram of the RA6T2. 

Speaking on the series functionality, Roger Wendelken, Renesas' senior VP of IoT and infrastructure business, remarked that the RA6T2 Group delivers a unique combination of performance and features that enable cost-effective, powerful designs.


An MCU for Any Application

Renesas claims that all three of these new families keep costs low with increased integration. Each also focuses on low power consumption. The tradeoff of increased integration, however, is less flexibility with all components included on the same chip. Performance can also be somewhat limited because of memory size. 

Because Renesas has such a wide variety of application-specific MCUs, designers have the flexibility to choose the right device based on project parameters.