Low-power microcontrollers accelerate prototyping for sensor hubs

 Small, low power microcontrollers (MCUs) in the RL78/G11 group will enable users to easily and more quickly prototype and develop systems that support low-power sensor hubs and sensor application systems, says Renesas Electronics. Sensor hubs are designed to connect to multiple sensors and convert the sensor output signals to digital data, and are used in computer operating environment monitoring for data centre thermocouples in the industrial area, wearable health management devices in the healthcare field, and environmental sensing in greenhouses and factory farms in the agricultural industry.

 Claimed to support the industry’s largest number of sensors in an MCU with 24pins, there series has 24- and 25-pin versions which support 11 analogue input channels and six serial communications channels. The 24-pin version can support signal inputs from a maximum of 13 sensors. Processing of the signal inputs from the sensors by the analogue functions and serial communications (reception) functions that operate even in standby mode, allows low-power control, even in systems with multiple sensors, says the company.

The high-speed wake-up feature transitions the CPU from standby mode to CPU operation in four micro sec. Flash operating mode transitions are claimed to optimise the CPU operating performance and contribute to energy savings. The MCUs also support battery voltage measurement and sensing referenced to an internal fixed voltage that operates from a 1.8V power supply to reduce intermittent operation power consumption.

 Versions are available from 20 to 25 pins and with small 16kbyte flash memory and analogue peripherals such as ADCs, DACs, comparators, and PGA. These are configurable, such as PGA+ADC+VBGR, PGA+CMP, CMP+DAC/VBGR, or PGA+CMP+DAC/VBGR. Low power operation is 100 micro A at 1MHz.

Package options ae 3.0 x 3.0mm2 WFLGA , 4.0 x 4.0mm2 HWQFN and standard 20-pin LSSOP.

Samples will be available from this month, with mass production scheduled to begin in December.

The company provides evaluation boards, development tools, and software, to support the microcontrollers.


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