Renesas Electronics Introduces Low-Power RL78/L1C LCD Microcontrollers for Environmental Sensor Modules and Mobile Healthcare

  Renesas Electronics Introduces Low-Power RL78/L1C LCD Microcontrollers for
  Environmental Sensor Modules and Mobile Healthcare Equipment

 New Lineup Enables Increased Functionality, Reduced Power and System Costs,
      and USB BC 1.2 Specification-Compliant Function for Rapid Charging
                                 Capabilities

Business Wire

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- September 25, 2013

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier provider of advanced
semiconductor solutions, today announced the expansion of its popular RL78
Series of microcontrollers (MCUs) with 40 new RL78/L1C devices that integrate
LCD display functions, USB functions, and 12-bit A/D converters on a single
chip. The new RL78/L1C MCUs can interface to a wide range of sensors such as
pressure, temperature, and proximity sensors, and are ideal for portable
monitors and mobile healthcare applications, such as blood pressure and blood
glucose monitoring equipment.

“With the move toward an Internet of Things, systems at all levels are
becoming connected and smarter, spurring greater consideration to low power
and small form factors particularly for applications equipped with an LCD
panel, like thermostat sensor modules and healthcare equipment,” said Ritesh
Tyagi, senior director of microcontroller product marketing at Renesas
Electronics America, “With an on-chip LCD driver and USB function, Renesas’
new RL78/L1C Group of MCUs delivers ultra-low power consumption – as low as
0.25uA in sleep or standby mode – along with the required functionality for
these applications. Also, by utilizing Renesas’ USB BC 1.2 compliant feature,
applications supporting high-speed charging can be realized without having an
external BC 1.2-compliant IC on the system, which essentially achieves lower
system cost.”

Comprising 40 products, the new RL78/L1C Group controls segment display type
(Note 1) LCD panels and is available in 80- and 100-pin packages with on-chip
flash memory capacities ranging from 64 to 256 kilobytes (KB).

The use of sensor modules in manufacturing equipment and consumer healthcare
devices to increase system functionality and intelligence continues to grow.
This results in an increasing need to support the communication of data
acquired by the manufacturing and consumer equipment so that the measurement
results can be managed on host equipment and personal computers.

Furthermore, healthcare equipment such as blood pressure and glucose meters
are becoming more widely used in homes, driving greater demand for devices
that are easy and convenient to use at home, offer longer battery life, and
are cost effective. Renesas addresses these needs with the new RL78/L1C MCUs
featuring an on-chip USB function module and 12-bit A/D converter,
contributing to lower system costs and reduced power consumption.

Key features of the RL78/L1C MCUs:

(1) USB function module and 12-bit A/D converter integrated on a single chip
contributes to reduced system costs

To reduce system costs in sensor modules and home health care equipment, the
RL78/L1C on-chip LCD driver MCUs integrate a USB function module (compliant
with the USB BC 1.2 specification) and a 12-bit A/D converter. Traditionally,
external dedicated USB and A/D converter ICs plus an LCD MCU were used in
these applications. The new MCUs not only provide an LCD controller, but also
achieve USB communication and high-precision A/D conversion in a single chip.
Eliminating the external dedicated special-purpose ICs allow system costs to
be reduced by approximately 20 percent.

(2) Reduced system power requirements achieved with the industry-leading low
LCD drive current and USB operating current

The RL78/L1C MCUs take advantage of the RL78 Family's True Low Power™
performance. For instance, the RL78/L1C devices achieve an approximate 30
percent (Note 2) reduction in current drain during LCD drive operation
compared to earlier Renesas 78K0R/Lx3 products, as well as 40 to 60 percent
reductions in current drain (Note 3) compared to earlier Renesas products
during USB operation. As a result, the RL78/L1C MCUs achieve industry-leading
low power during LCD drive and USB operation.

Furthermore, by achieving the industry-leading low current drain of 0.62
microampere (µA) (Note 4) during 32kHz clock halt operation, the new MCUs
significantly reduce current drain during standby modes when the LCD panel is
not being used.

(3) Enhanced communication functions with a USB BC 1.2-compliant USB module

Of the 40 new RL78/L1C devices, 20 include a USB function module for
strengthened communication functionality. Sensor logs and measurements from
healthcare equipment can be managed on host equipment or a personal computer
using USB communication. Since this module conforms to USB BC 1.2
specifications, it can accept a maximum charging current of 1.5 ampere (A), 3x
greater than modules that only support the USB 2.0 standard. This makes rapid
charging possible and can reduce battery charging times significantly.

Renesas will provide a complete development environment for these products
including the IECUBE full-specifications emulator, the E1 on-chip debugging
emulator, the Renesas Starter Kit (RSK), which consists of the required
development environment at first adoption, and a code generation tool. The
various USB drivers (communication class, HID class, and mass storage class)
required to support rapid charging under the USB BC 1.2 specifications can be
used in the Renesas CubeSuite+, the Renesas e^2 studio, and the IAR Embedded
Workbench development environments, and volume production versions will be
released sequentially. Renesas will also provide application notes covering
such functions as software touch keys (Note 5), LCD display, timer functions,
and serial functions.

As a further development, Renesas plans to release 85-pin 7 × 7 mm LGA package
versions starting in April 2014 to respond to needs for further system
miniaturization.

(Note 1) Segment display method:

In this method, characters are displayed as a collection of segments, such as
the 7-segment numeric display used in calculators, where a single numeric
digit is displayed with 7 segments and numbers can be displayed with 7 or
fewer control signals.

(Note 2) When comparing current drain with the earlier Renesas 78K0R/Lx3 in
the LCD display state in subsystem clock operation HALT mode.

(Note 3) When comparing current drain with the earlier Renesas R8C/3xU or
78K0R/KC3-L in the state where USB communication is being performed.

(Note 4) Typical value with an oscillator element connected in HALT mode,
subsystem clock (32.768 kHz) operating, and at Ta = 25°C.

(Note 5) Software touch key:

A software solution that implements touch key functions for the RL78 Family
microcontrollers.

Pricing and Availability

Samples of Renesas Electronics' new RL78/L1C MCUs are available now. Pricing
varies depending on memory capacity, package and number of pins. For example,
the RL78/L1C MCU with 256 KB of flash, USB function and 16 KB of RAM equipped
in a 100-pin package is priced at US$2.90 per unit in 10,000-unit quantities.
Mass production started today and is expected to reach a combined volume of
1,000,000 units per month in 2014. (Pricing and availability are subject to
change without notice.)

(Remarks) All registered trademarks or trademarks are the property 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.

Contact:

Voce Communications, a Porter Novelli Company
Jessica Kerr, 415-975-2213
Jessica.kerr@porternovelli.com
 
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