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Renesas Electronics RL78 Prototype Board: Better Manage Motor Control in Consumer Electronics and Industrial Equipment

December 18, 2019 by Luke James

Renesas Electronics Corporation introduces low-cost and low-power RL78 Prototyping Board to enable faster product development for several kinds of IoT endpoint equipment.

The new RL78 Prototyping Board from Renesas Electronics utilises ultra-low power consumption technology and is based on the RL78/G14 microcontroller (MCU), which provides an all-round set of functions in the power-optimized RL78 family. 

By significantly reducing the time-to-market window for new products, this cost-effective and function-rich board gives users the agility to respond to rapid technological changes and market needs.


RL78 Prototyping Board: Features

The RL78 board uses a high-performance RL78/G14 microcontroller (80-pin, 512-KB ROM, 64-KB RAM, 8-KB data flash memory). This MCU is claimed to be the most power-optimized in the RL78 family, achieving numerical processing performance up to 51.2 DMIPS at 32 MHz. 

Besides providing functions such as timers and 8-bit D/A converters, this MCU delivers 66 µA/MHZ — low levels of current drain whether the central processing unit is running or in standby mode.

The RL78/G14 microcontroller is optimised for portable equipment (powered by batteries) and IoT sensor terminals, as well as several other IoT endpoint equipment. Its in-built timer also supports three-phase motor control. RL78/G14 microcontrollers have on-chip data flash, oscillator, comparator, A/D and D/A converters, and more. The RL78 CPU Core uses CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) architecture with 3-state pipeline.

The board comes with an in-built emulator circuit with the same functionality as the E2 emulator lite. This makes it possible to write/debug programs using a USB cable with no additional tools. An external emulator was required initially on the RL78/G14 starter kit. The through-holes for pin headers allow for access to all MCU signal pins, which facilitates easy prototyping with a breadboard. 

The RL78 board includes Pmod™ and Arduino interfaces for fast and easy expansion of users’ applications. When you combine this board with a SX1262 LoRa®/Semtech SX1261 transceiver, it becomes possible to prototype for IoT sensor devices wirelessly. Bluetooth wireless functionality can be achieved by combining the RL78 Prototype Board with the RL78/G1D BLE Board. This enables early prototyping of IoT endpoint devices. 


Diagram of internal and external components for the Renesas Electronics RL78/G14  Prototyping Board.

Diagram of internal and external components for the Renesas Electronics RL78/G14  Prototyping Board. Image Credit: Renesas Electronics. 


RL78 Prototype Board: Applications

The RL78 prototype board is based on the feature-rich RL78/G14 microcontroller, which makes it ideal for motor control in IoT sensors and portable equipment, as well as several other IoT endpoint equipment. Viable applications include industrial equipment, health care equipment, building automation, and home appliances. The RL78/G14 provides users with the most versatile set of functions within the low-power RL78 family. 

IoT equipment evolution is on the rise, and the capability of realizing and prototyping new ideas fast has become valuable for businesses that want to achieve success. The Renesas RL78/G14 fast prototyping board allows users to build their applications quickly. This new prototyping board should enable customers to jump-start development and will ensure timely market entry of new products and business success. Rapid prototyping and lower costs will allow end-users to respond to rapid changes in technology and market needs, and subsequently shorten the time to market (TTM) for new products. 

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