Renesas Electronics expands the RL78 family of MCUs with industry's highest segment count LCD controller

November 07, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Renesas Electronics has added to the company’s RL78/L13 Group of low-power microcontrollers with on-chip LCD controller offering up-to 376 segment drive capability in an 80-pin package.

The new MCUs are optimal for consumer, health and industrial equipment that are equipped with an LCD panel.

LCD panels are widely used in both consumer and industrial equipment, including home appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers, health equipment such as blood pressure monitors and blood glucose monitors, and portable test equipment and meters.  Renesas has already released the RL78/L12 low-power MCUs that reduce power consumption by about 30% compared to earlier Renesas products as on-chip LCD driver MCUs. There is now, however, strong demand for an increase in the number of segments in on-chip LCD driver MCUs to support the large increases of information shown on LCD panels due to needs to display information such as power saving status ecological information and the additional information associated with advanced functionality.

At the same time, the Induction Heating (IH) method is beginning to be widely used in IH cooking equipment, and industrial equipment as well. In this IH heating equipment, high-functionality timers are required to control the IH inverter circuit. Renesas is now releasing the RL78/L13 Group of MCUs to respond to these needs.

The RL78/L13 group of MCUs achieves the industry's highest LCD display segment count and contributes to richer information displays using LCD panels.

The new RL78/L13 MCUs can drive up to 376 segments achieving the industry's largest number of LCD segments in an 80-pin MCU. This allows even more information, such as numbers and symbols, to be displayed on the LCD panels included in home appliances and other equipment.

The RL78/L13 group of MCUs also provides comparators and high-functionality timers to support system control for IH equipment.

The new MCUs include comparators that are effective for zero cross detection in AC power supply waveforms and high-functionality timers that support variable pulse width modulation (PWM) control in real time and are thus optimal for IH heating control. These high-functionality timers include a forcible output stop function and can