Renesas completes its mainstream RA6 series IoT controllers

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By Nick Flaherty

Renesas Electronics has completed its RA6 Series of ARM Cortex-M33 microcontrollers with 20 new devices with memory block swapping for in-field firmware updates.

The RA6 M5 group of MCUs includes CAN FD, Ethernet MAC with DMA, USB Full Speed and High Speed, and multiple serial interfaces for IoT designs.  

The new controllers also integrate up to 2MB on-chip flash and 512KB on-chip RAM to support a wide range of applications. An OctaSPI interface that enables designers to extend the on-chip flash and RAM further with error correction code (ECC) in the RAM. The memory block swap feature in conjunction with the intrinsic security built into the RA family makes these new devices the most suitable in the range for in-field firmware updates are required. After new firmware is written to the flash using background operation (BGO), a selectable amount of 32kB flash blocks can be swapped to the new firmware.

The Cortex-M33 cores in the RA6 family also use ARM’s TrustZone technology and Renesas’ Secure Crypto Engine. The Secure Crypto Engine incorporates multiple symmetric and asymmetric cryptography accelerators, advanced key management, security lifecycle management, power analysis resistance, and tamper detection.

The RA6 M5 Group offers the same security features and software support as the previous RA6 M4 MCUs, which recently achieved PSA Certified Level 2 and SESIP1 certification. This combination of features enables customers to realize secure element functionality for safety and security for highly connected IoT devices.

The devices have a low power consumption of 107 μA/MHz in active mode (running the CoreMark algorithm from Flash at 200MHz) with a 30 µs wakeup time.

The RA6 M5 Group is supported by the Renesas Flexible Software Package (FSP), which includes a hardware abstraction layer (HAL) driver. The FSP uses a GUI to simplify and dramatically accelerate the development process, while also making it easy for customers to transition from an original 8/16-bit MCU design. Designers using the MCUs also have access to the extensive Arm partner ecosystem, offering a range of tools to simplify designs.

“The RA6 M5 MCU Group offers our customers seemingly ‘endless’ communications options, enabling the flexibility to share data in a wide variety of different ways to address numerous IoT applications,” said Roger Wendelken, Senior Vice President in Renesas’ IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit. “This functionality, combined with ample on-chip memory and our industry-leading security features, makes these devices true powerhouses for implementing IoT designs.”

The RA6 M5 is integrated into a Voice Recognition and Smart Control reference design with power, transceiver, and isolation offerings from Renesas. The RA6 M5 MCUs and the EK-RA6M5 Evaluation Kit (p/n RTK7EKA6M5S00001BE) are available now from Renesas and its worldwide distributors.

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