MCUs aim at safe & secure industrial machinery control

MCUs aim at safe & secure industrial machinery control

New Products |
By Graham Prophet

These MCUs will be the new mainstream among Renesas’ next-generation RX Family lineup. The RX65N/RX651 Groups can be used in various application fields such as networked industrial machinery, and building automation. System manufacturers can, Renesas asserts, increase the basic performance of their systems while also adding the ability to safely reprogram the MCU’s built-in memory over a network such as wireless local area network (WLAN) or Ethernet. This makes it easier to develop end devices that allow timely changes to machine settings or control programs, as well as flexible machine control to accommodate changes in the installation environment or end-user requirements.


The new RX65N and RX651 MCU Groups reduce development workload while making it easier to build systems for the IIoT and Industry 4.0.


The MCUs are manufactured with an RXv2 CPU core in a 40 nm process, delivering a CoreMark score of 516. With an operating current of 15 mA typ, power performance is 34.4 CoreMark/mA – up to five times higher than that of comparable 32-bit MCUs in the 120 MHz operating frequency class. With 1 MB of flash memory and 256 kB of RAM, software can be developed to run exclusively in internal memory. The built-in memory alone can accommodate software for communication middleware processing of network connection, as well as buffer areas. This eliminates the need to access external memory results in reduced power consumption, and therefore contributes to further extend the battery operation time.

Relative to prior MCU groups from Renesas, these MCUs provide a WLAN module connection through an SD host interface capable of 4-bit data communication, as well as Quad SPI with support for connections to serial flash memory. To manage all required communication stacks, a 256 kB embedded RAM can be used to handle the buffers.


The AES and TRNG hardware modules can be used to encrypt and decrypt communication data, assuring safe data transfer over networks. The area protection function makes it possible to apply protection against overwriting to specified areas when programs in the on-chip flash memory are updated. This prevents the flash memory from being reprogrammed erroneously.


Together, the above functions make it possible to ensure secure communication over networks and enable safe reprogramming with protection against mistaken overwriting of data. This allows system manufacturers to receive feedback from AI functions utilizing cloud or fog computing, to update machine settings or control functions in a timely manner by reprogramming via a network, or to update machine control functions in response to changes in the installation environment at the request of the end user.


The toolset that accompanies the MCUs is claimed to offer a development time reduction of 20%. A complete starter kit is available. software examples and drivers are also provided by Renesas, including the firmware integration technology (FIT) drivers. FIT is a completely new concept that emphasizes the simplification of embedding peripheral function module drivers and improves the portability between RX MCUs, by offering common API functions to ensure an easy migration to and from existing products that support FIT.







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