Renesas Electronics Announces the RL78/D1A Group of Single-Chip Microcontrollers for Automotive Instrument Clusters;

  Renesas Electronics Announces the RL78/D1A Group of Single-Chip
  Microcontrollers for Automotive Instrument Clusters; Industry’s Smallest
  MCUs for Two-Wheeled Vehicles

 New MCUs Contribute to Smaller Form Factors, Enhanced Functions, Lower Cost
     and Increased Reliability in Instrument Cluster Systems for Two- and
                            Four-Wheeled Vehicles

Business Wire

TOKYO -- October 02, 2012

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced
semiconductor solutions, today announced 21 new 16-bit microcontroller (MCU)
products in the RL78/D1A Group, including 48-pin versions, which are the
industry’s smallest single-chip MCUs for two-wheeled vehicle meter
applications. The new devices with packages ranging from 48 to 100 pins are
designed for cost-sensitive meter control applications in two- and
four-wheeled vehicles in various markets.

RL78/D1A (Photo: Business Wire)

RL78/D1A (Photo: Business Wire)

Affordable two- and four-wheeled vehicles have become increasingly popular in
emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil, and further growth is
expected. As the volume of information to be handled by MCUs used in
automotive meter control increases, package pin count goes up, requiring
larger internal flash memory capacity to accommodate the software for
implementing enhanced functions. This has created demand for electronic
single-chip solutions to replace systems employing many external components,
as a way to achieve greater compactness and reliability, and reduced cost.
Currently, there is a trend of replacing mechanical meters such as gauges with
electric ones to improve reliability for two-wheeled vehicles. In addition,
space for these meters is limited in small vehicles, e.g. a motor cycle with
an engine displacement of 125 cc or less, so engineers must consider the
compactness of electronic components. On the other hand, instrument cluster
systems for four-wheeled vehicles must be also able to display a variety of
information, such as the fuel level, even in low-price models.

With the new RL78/D1A MCUs, Renesas continues its strong history of providing
8- and 16-bit support that meets the price, performance and size constraints
required for use in low-end meter applications. The new devices address the
growing market demand, offering integrated 16-bit MCUs in a variety of
pin-count packages to deliver more compactness and enhanced functions.

Key Features of the RL78/D1A Group of MCUs:

(1) The 48-pin package, which is the smallest in the industry, enables the use
of electronic meters in compact two-wheeled vehicles.

The newly added 48-pin package product versions of the RL78/D1A MCUs are the
smallest single-chip MCUs in the industry for two-wheeled vehicle meter
applications [Note]. The new MCUs provide roughly the same functionality at
about half the size (7 mm × 7 mm) of the earlier 78K0/Dx2 with 64-pin package
(10 mm × 10 mm), making them ideal for electronic meter applications for
compact two-wheeled vehicles with limited space. This enables switching from
mechanical to electronic meters more practical.

(2) The 100-pin package MCU with enhanced functions and increased memory
enables the display of a wide range of vehicle information on electronic
meters in low-price four-wheeled vehicles.

The newly added 100-pin package products provide enhanced functionality, with
256KB on-chip flash memory capacity and expanded LCD panel display capability
of 53 LCD segments × 4 backplane lines compared with previous-generation
devices featuring 60 KB flash memory capacity and LCD panel display capability
of 40 columns × 4 lines. This allows vehicles to display a wide variety of
vehicle information on the dashboard, including odometer and other
information.

(3) Integrates all functions required for automotive instrument cluster
control, allowing for more compact and lower cost systems.

The RL78/D1A Group of MCUs adds on-chip data flash for storing odometer data
so that external EEPROM can be eliminated, reducing the mounting area by
approximately 10 percent compared with a system using previous-generation
Renesas devices. Combining integrated flash memory, 1 to 4 channels of
stepping motor controller/driver, an LCD controller/driver and a sound
generator, the new MCUs make it possible to implement a meter display control
system on a single chip, resulting in smaller form factors, reduced system
costs and shortened system development cycles.

The RL78/D1A Group of MCUs are available in pin-count packages ranging from 48
to 100 pins and flash memory capacities ranging from 24 KB to 256 KB,
providing support for a wide range of display systems, from single-needle
meters for motorbikes to meter arrays employing four needles for low-cost
instrument clusters. Customers can select the specific functions for their
system requirements, contributing to lower system cost. In addition, software
compatibility is maintained across the pin count range, making it possible to
adapt flexibly to changes in specifications.

To support customers who are using mechanical meters and to facilitate the
development of systems quickly in response to rapidly changing and growing
markets, reference designs developed by Renesas Electronics China are going to
be available for customers in China and other emerging markets including
Brazil and India. This enables customers to reduce system costs rapidly and
encourage manufacturers of two-wheeled vehicles to switch to electronic
meters.

[Note] Single-chip MCUs for two-wheeled vehicle meter applications: MCUs that
have the required functions for two-wheeled vehicle meter applications in
single-chip, such as stepping motor controller/driver for meter active pointer
and LCD controller/driver for display of travel distance.

Please refer to the separate sheet for the specifications of the RL78/D1A
Group.

Pricing and Availability

The RL78/D1A Group of MCUs are available in pin-count packages ranging from 48
to 100 pins. Samples are scheduled to begin in October 2012, and price varies
depending on the pin-count and memory storage configurations. For example,
samples of the R5F10DGEJFB MCU with 48-pin package are planned to be priced at
US$5 per unit. Mass production of the RL78/D1A devices is scheduled to begin
in January 2013 and is expected to reach a scale of 1,000,000 units per month
for the total of 21 product versions in January 2014. (Pricing and
availability are subject to change without notice.)

(Remarks)

The new RL78/D1A Group incorporates SuperFlash® technology licensed from
Silicon Storage Technology, Inc. SuperFlash® is a registered trademark of
Silicon Storage Technology, Inc., U.S.A., in the United States, Japan, and
other countries. All other names of products or services mentioned in this
press release are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective
owners.

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), the world’s number one supplier
of microcontrollers, is a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions
including microcontrollers, SoC solutions and a broad-range of analog and
power devices. Business operations began as Renesas Electronics in April 2010
through the integration of NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723) and Renesas
Technology Corp., with operations spanning research, development, design and
manufacturing for a wide range of applications. Headquartered in Japan,
Renesas Electronics has subsidiaries in 20 countries worldwide. More
information can be found at www.renesas.com.

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Contact:

Voce Communications on behalf of Renesas Electronics America
Jessica Kerr, 415-975-2213
Jessica.Kerr@porternovelli.com
 
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