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Flash MCUs consume 150?A per 1MHz

Posted: 11 Feb 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microcontroller? MCU? flash memory? data flash?


Renesas Technology Corp. has launched the R8C/Mx series of low-pin-count microcontrollers with on-chip flash memory offering among the lowest power consumption in the industry. The series also features improved functions including timers for applications requiring low power consumption, such as electric shavers, electric toothbrushes, and other compact electrical household appliances.

The new series combines extremely low power consumption and a low pin count. The first products to appear will be the R8C/M11A, with a 14-pin package, and the R8C/M12A, with a 20-pin package. They will comprise a total of six types with 18 products, and sample shipments are scheduled to begin in March 2010 in Japan.

Through improvements to the fabrication process and other enhancements, the current consumption during operation (active current) of the R8C/M11A and R8C/M12A is only 150?A per 1 MHz, a reduction of approximately 60 percent from the 350?A per 1MHz of comparable earlier Renesas Technology products. This is ideal for battery powered compact electrical household appliances that require low power consumption.

In addition, the standby current is less than 1?A, approximately half that of earlier Renesas Technology products, making R8C/Mx series products suitable as sub-MCUs in larger systems with extensive standby time, such as consumer products and office equipment, where they can contribute to improved energy efficiency overall.

R8C/Mx series MCUs are equipped with on-chip peripheral functions, including timers and comparators, required by compact electrical household appliances such as electric shavers, which require sensor detection and control functionality. This makes it possible for hardware to handle processing previously done by the CPU using software, for example, using a comparator for direct control of a timer based on sensor input. Bypassing the CPU in this way increases flexibility and improves real-time performance.

In addition, the on-chip timers support three-phase pulse output, simplifying motor control. The on-chip peripheral I/O mapping controller enables reassignment of pin functions. This can help reduce development time by eliminating the need to make changes to the wiring board.

The series also feature data flash that can be reprogrammed, erased and read using low voltage of 1.8V. Data flash is a special type of on-chip flash memory exclusive to Renesas that is intended for storing data. It eliminates the need for external EEPROM for data storage. The data flash of R8C/Mx series MCUs supports a reprogramming/erasing voltage of only 1.8V rather than the 2.7V of earlier Renesas products. This is suitable for applications requiring low-voltage operation, such as battery-powered products that must store data when the power supply is cut off.

The R8C/M11A is the first Renesas MCU to feature a 14-pin package suitable for compact electrical household appliances requiring low-pin-count packages. It is available in either a compact TSSOP measuring 4.4mm x 5mm or an easy-to-mount DIP package. The 20-pin R8C/M12A is also available in either an LSSOP measuring 4.4mm x 6.5mm or a DIP package. Customers can choose the package that is the best matches the product under development, with options available that help reduce wiring board size and lower system cost.

The R8C/Mx Series is built around the R8C CPU core and delivers high-performance, powerful functionality and excellent flexibility. The R8C is a 16bit CPU, but the CPU and peripheral functions are linked by an 8bit bus. Its maximum operating frequency is 20MHz, and its wide operating voltage range extends from 1.8V to 5.5V. On-chip peripheral functions include high-speed on-chip oscillator, power-on reset function, and low-voltage detection function (two on-chip circuits supporting two and eight setting levels, respectively). This reduces the number of external devices required, such as EEPROM, oscillators, reset chips, and pull-up resistors, contributing to reduced system cost and smaller wiring board size.

The E8a emulator, an on-chip debugger that uses a single-pin interface, will be offered as a development environment for the MCU. Since only a single pin is needed for connection, all of the I/O pins can be used during debugging, enabling efficient program development. The E8a emulator functions not only as an emulator, but can also be used as a flash memory programmer.

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