EtherCAT ARM microcontroller cuts die size in half

EtherCAT ARM microcontroller cuts die size in half

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

Renesas Electronics has launched a cost-reduced industrial microcontroller for the EtherCAT communication protocol using European IP.

The RZ/T2L inherits the hardware architecture of its higher-end product, the RZ/T2M, but is optimised for fast-growing EtherCAT applications such as factory automation (FA), medical equipment and building automation (BA).

The RZ/T2L is based on the ARM Cortex-R52 real time core with a maximum operating frequency of 800 MHz and a proven EtherCAT slave controller designed by Beckhoff Automation for Ethernet communication.

With a focus on EtherCAT, the design reduces the chip size by up to 50% compared to the RZ/T2M.

All the internal RAM has ECC Error Correction and 576 KB memory directly connected to the core to reduce unpredictability in execution time that can be caused by cache memory for deterministic processing. The RZ/T2L also offers peripheral functions such as multi-protocol encoder interfaces for angle sensors, Sigma-Delta interfaces, and A/D converters. These are arranged on a dedicated low-latency peripheral port (LLPP) bus directly connected to the CPU to achieve fast and accurate real-time control capabilities.

“Accurate real-time control is essential to improving productivity and product quality in industrial systems,” said Hitoshi Shirakabe, Vice President of Renesas’ Industrial Automation Business Division. “Our RZ/T2L can make this a reality, and with its support for the rapidly expanding EtherCAT market, it will elevate the performance to the next level and accelerate the automation of factories and buildings, as well as medical devices.”

 “For decades we are committed to providing engineers with the best-in-class development tools for the latest Renesas MCUs and MPUs to enable their embedded innovations of tomorrow,” said Norbert Weiss, Managing Director of Lauterbach GmbH, leading supplier of debug and trace tools. “Thanks to our great partnership with Renesas, industrial customers of the RZ/T2L MPU will also get highly reliable tools and excellent support from the beginning.”

Renesas also offers the Flexible Software Package (FSP) and software development environment that are compatible with other RZ Family MPUs and RA Family MCUs, allowing engineers to preserve their software assets. This reduces development efforts and costs and facilitates scalable development of a wide array of products.

The RZ/T2L can also be used as a functional safety MPU to meet the growing processing requirements to realize functional safety in industrial equipment. Renesas will provide self-diagnostic software and SIL3 system software kits in Q4/2023, which allow customers to reduce development efforts and costs to develop functional safety system.

The RZ/T2L also supports various security functions such as secure boot, secure firmware update, JTAG authentication, unique ID, and cryptographic accelerator to reduce the risk of data breach and tampering of user programs. Renesas will offer the security software package as part of a security solution in May 2023.

An AC Servo reference design combines the EtherCAT microcontroller with power management ICs, photocouplers, Sigma-Delta modulators, and EEPROM. This comes with reference circuits, Gerber files, and sample program code to accelerate product development for applications such as AC servos, industrial gateways, and remote I/O. 

The RZ/T2L is available today and is supported by Renesas’ Product Longevity Program (PLP) for industrial equipment that requires long life cycles.



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