First RISC-V chip optimised for motor control

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By Nick Flaherty

Renesas Electronics has developed the industry’s first RISC-V MCU specifically optimized for motor control systems.

The R9A02G020 is a pre-programmed application specific standard product (ASSP) based on a 32bit RISC-V core from Andes Technology. It provides a ready-to-use, turnkey solution for motor control applications, with no development cost as it eliminates the need for development tools.

Renesas worked with BFG Engineering and DigiPower (HK) Technology  on the software for the chip, using RISC-V development tools from Segger Microcontroller.

Both BFG and DigiPower have specialized expertise in the motor control field and proven customer support capability. BFG is known for its sensor-less algorithms that allow customers to reduce motor start-up times while DigiPower has been creating cost-optimized, scalable motor drive solutions since 2008 and has designed specific solutions for control of refrigerator compressors, fans, pumps and more. Both BFG and DigiPower will work with customers to finalize designs and aid the transition to production.

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The complete Segger ecosystem, including Embedded Studio and J-Link, was a key element used to create and test the software, which is aimed at applications such as home and building automation, healthcare devices, home appliances and drones.

The chip includes analog to digital converters (ADCs) with three dedicated programmable gain amplifiers (PGA) and sample and hold (S/H), two digital to analog converters (DACs), two comparators and a temperature sensor as well as advanced motor control timers and two watchdog timers.

It supports sensor-less vector control for one BLDC motor, 1/3 shunt, PFC and Hall sensor inputs using 48 KB of flash memory and 16 KB pf SRAM (4KB with ECC error correction).

The chip has high temperature support up to Ta +125°C for harsh operating environments and comes in 24- and 32-pin QFN packages.

“As the leading embedded processing provider, Renesas delivers the solutions our customers demand across any number of platforms” said Roger Wendelken, Senior Vice President in Renesas’ IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit. “This RISC-V-based ASSP offers an optimum combination of low cost, quick time-to-market, and outstanding performance. It complements our current portfolio nicely, reaching out to new customers and emerging markets across the globe.”

“We are thrilled to have Andes’ entry-level RISC-V processor IP providing computing power in Renesas’ R9A02G020 MCU ASSP. We believe Renesas making a powerful, low-power MCU ASSP available to the market will accelerate the incorporation of RISC-V in a broad array of applications. It will also encourage software developers to produce more creative and efficient applications for RISC-V,” said Franklin Lin, CEO of Andes.

Renesas is supplying a complete reference design with hardware, software, kit, tools, hardware datasheet, software datasheet, GUI manual and app notes. It has developed a 3-Phase Motor Control with RISC-V Core reference design with the R9A02G020 and other compatible devices from Renesas portfolio to support general-purpose 3-phase motors.  

The R9A02G020 MCU ASSP is available now.

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