Low Power MCUs With Capacitive Touch Sensing For IoT HMI Applications

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32-bit Arm Cortex-M23-based MCUs offer best-in-class power consumption with flexible power modes and energy efficiency

With the help of easy-to-use Flexible Software Package (FSP) and out-of-the-box software and hardware building block solutions, the RA2L1 MCUs provide ultra-low power and an innovative touch interface that make them ideal for home appliance, industrial and building automation, medical and healthcare and consumer human-machine-interface (HMI) IoT applications.

The general-purpose RA2L1 MCUs use the Arm Cortex-M23 core, operating up to 48 MHz and consume low power consumption. They have been designed with several integrated features that lower the BOM costs, including capacitive touch sensing, embedded flash memory densities up to 256 KB, SRAM at 32 KB, analogue, communications, timing peripherals, and safety and security functions. 

In many battery-powered applications, the MCU spends most of the time in a low-power standby mode waiting for an internal or external event to wake-up the CPU and process data, make decisions and communicate with other system components. The RA2L1 MCU has been certified with an EEMBC ULPMark score of 304 at 1.8V, verifying its best-in-class power rating. 

The advanced capacitive touch IP in the RA2L1 MCUs provides enhanced operability for a variety of touch and touchless system implementations. For example, it supports sensing through acrylic or glass panels more than 10 mm thick, which is suitable for use in household equipment with thick doors or partitions. It also implements proximity sensing (hovering) and 3D gestures that follow hygiene and safety regulations. The RA2L1’s capacitive touch noise tolerance meets the requirements of IEC EN61000-4-3 level 4 (radiated) and EN61000-4-6 level 3 (conducted) to assure reliable operation with minimal sensing errors.

Key Features of the RA2L1 MCU Group

  • 48 MHz Arm Cortex-M23 CPU core
  • Support for wide operating voltage range: 1.6V – 5.5V
  • Ultra-low power consumption delivering an operating current of 64 μA/MHz and software standby current of 250 nA with less than 5 µs fast wakeup
  • Employs 110nm low-power process for active and sleep/standby modes and special power-down modes designed for battery-driven applications
  • Flexible power modes achieve lower average power for multiple applications
  • Integrated next-generation innovative capacitive touch sensing unit with no external components required, lowering BOM costs
  • Enables system costs reduction with on-chip peripheral functions, including a high precision (1.0%) high-speed oscillator, temperature sensor and multiple power supply interface ports
  • Background operation data flash supporting 1 million erase/program cycles
  • Scalable from 48-pin to 100-pin LQFP packages

The RA2L1 MCUs also offer an IEC60730 self-test library and feature integrated safety functions, which can be easily used to perform MCU self-diagnostics. 

Also, the RA2L1 includes an AES cryptography accelerator, true random number generator (TRNG) and memory protection units that provide the fundamental blocks to develop a secure IoT system.

The RA2L1 MCUs with Flexible Software Package (FSP) allows customers to re-use their legacy code with Arm software for speed implementation of complex connectivity and security functions. The FSP includes FreeRTOS and middleware, offering a premium device-to-cloud option for developers. These out-of-box options can be easily replaced and expanded with any other RTOS or middleware.

The FSP also includes a best-in-class HAL driver and provides a host of efficiency-enhancing tools for developing projects targeting the RA2L1 MCUs. The e2 studio Integrated Development Environment provides support for project creation, module selection and configuration, code development, code generation and debugging. The FSP uses a GUI to simplify the process and dramatically accelerate the development process, while also making it easy for customers to transition from an original 8/16-bit MCU design.

The RA2L1 MCUs are available now from Renesas’ worldwide distributors.


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