Renesas doubles performance with drop in replacement RX140 microcontrollers

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By Nick Flaherty

Renesas Electronics has launched a new family of 32bit microcontrollers with twice the performance of previous devices.

The RX140 group of microcontrollers use its proprietary RXv2 core running at up to 48MHz to give a CoreMark benchmark score of 204, twice the processing performance of the current RX130 device with a top frequency of 32MHz. The RX140 MCUs also boost power efficiency by over 30 percent with a power consumption down to 56 µA/MHz in active mode and 0.25 µA in standby mode. The family is aimed at home appliances, industrial and building automation.

The devices are pin compatible with the RX130 to upgrade existing designs.

The RX140 MCUs feature the latest capacitive touch sensing units, allowing designers to build an enhanced user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) with IEC EN61000-4-3 level 4 (radiated) and EN61000-4-6 level 3 (conducted) capacitive touch noise tolerance requirements. This makes the controllers less susceptible to electromagnetic noise, allowing the MCUs to detect changes in water level by directly measuring changes in capacitance through high-precision sensing.

Built-in multi-scan functionality and automated sensing enable customers to improve sensitivity through simultaneous measurement using multiple electrodes. This allows for automatic touch detection even in standby mode, making it easier to develop interfaces quickly and easily with touchless operation or proximity sensing.

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The RX140 MCUs also features improved peripheral functions. For example, the number of I/O ports has been increased to allow control of more sensors or external components, and CAN communication support for real-time operation has been added. A built-in AES encryption accelerator and true random number generator (TRNG) reduce the risks of security threats such as data leakage or manipulation.

The RX140 capacitive touch devices are aimed at home appliances such as microwave ovens, refrigerators, and induction heat cooking stoves, as well as manufacturing equipment, building control panels, and devices that can detect remaining quantities of water or powder on surfaces.

“The RX100 Series of ultra-low power MCUs is gaining popularity for the superior scalability it offers as the entry-level model for the RX Family,” said Sakae Ito, Vice President of the IoT Platform Business Division at Renesas. “With the release of the RX140 MCUs offering improved performance and power efficiency alongside the latest capacitive touch IP, we continue to bring advanced solutions that enable customers to create products that combine enhanced functionality, design, and usability.”

Renesas also introduced the Target Board for RX140, which provides access to all signal pins, for initial evaluation work. The board is equipped with a Pmod connector to allow easy connection of sensor modules. To simplify evaluation of capacitive touch applications even further, Renesas plans to introduce the Capacitive Touch Evaluation System for RX140 in April 2022 which will be similar to the already available Capacitive Touch Evaluation System for RX130.

Developers can use the RX140 family with the e2 studio integrated development environment, the Smart Configurator code generation support tool, and the QE for Capacitive Touch capacitive touch support tool to shorten development time, reduce the total cost, and improve software quality.

Renesas has created a reference design for a complete Waterproof Shower Controller with RX140 MCUs and other complementary analog and power devices from Renesas portfolio.

The RX140 group of MCUs is available now in 32- to 64-pin packages with 64KB of flash memory. Mass production for additional configurations and memory sizes over 128KB will be available starting in February 2022.

Pricing will vary based on package and memory configuration. The reference price for the R5F51403ADFM#30 in a 64-pin LFQFP package with 64 KB of flash memory is US $1.02 (excluding tax) in 10,000-unit quantities.

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