Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Renesas Launches Industry’s First Internally Developed Ultra-Low Power RISC-V MCU

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Renesas Electronics Corporation, leading provider of microcontrollers, has launched the industry’s first general-purpose 32-bit RISC-V-based microcontrollers (MCUs) with an internally developed CPU core. Renesas has independently designed and tested the new RISC-V. 

The new R9A02G021 group of MCUs is designed to provide embedded systems designers with flexibility to develop a wide range of power-conscious, cost-sensitive applications based on the open-source instruction set architecture (ISA). The devices are intended to serve multiple end markets, including IoT sensors, consumer electronics, medical devices, small appliances, and industrial systems. 

Renesas and its extensive network of toolchain partners will provide a full-scale development environment for the R9A02G021, allowing designers to significantly reduce costs, engineering resources, and development time.

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Daryl Khoo, Vice President of Embedded Processing 1st Business Division at Renesas, stated “Customers often face with complex design challenges and tradeoffs such as performance, power consumption, memory, or a choice of CPU architecture. The new RISC-VMCU provides an additional degree of choice to customers who want to use products with the open architecture.”

The R9A02G021 RISC-V group offers performance with clock speeds up to 48MHz while consuming minimally low power in standby at 0.3µA. It provides 128KB of fast flash memory, 16KB of SRAM memory, and 4KB of flash memory for data storage. 

The MCUs are designed to withstand harsh conditions and operate reliably at ambient temperatures ranging from -40 °C to 125 °C. They come with standard serial communications interfaces, as well as digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and analog-to-digital converter (ADC) functions.

Tom Hackenberg, Principal Analyst at Yole Group, highlighted that the MCU market, a key potential market for RISC-V and said, “ As other leading vendors follow Renesas’ example, RISC-V should approach 10% of the overall MCU market by the end of 2029 with significant growth potential beyond.”

The company has e² studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) which fully supports the RISC-V MCUs, offered to customers at no cost. The comprehensive toolchain includes a code configurator, the low level virtual machine (LLVM) compiler, and a fast prototyping board (FPB). 

Fast prototyping board

Development environments are also available from Renesas’ partners: IAR with its Embedded Workbench IDE and I-jet debug probe, and SEGGER with the Embedded Studio IDE, J-Link debug probes, and Flasher production programmers. The product is currently available with global distributors.

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