Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Renesas board simplifies IoT endpoint prototyping

Steve Rogerson
December 11, 2019



Renesas Electronics has introduced a low-power board to simplify IoT endpoint equipment prototyping. With its Bluetooth Low Energy expansion board, it includes interfaces supporting a wide range of functional expansion.
 
The RL78/G14 board enables rapid product development for IoT endpoint equipment. Quicker development prototyping and lower costs can give users the agility to respond to rapid changes in technology and market needs, and reduces the time to market for new products.
 
The Japanese company also introduced the RL78/G1D BLE expansion board, which users can combine with the prototyping board to add Bluetooth Low Energy wireless communication functions.
 
The prototyping board is based on the RL78/G14 microcontroller (MCU), which is suitable for motor control in portable equipment and IoT sensors, as well as a wide range of IoT endpoint equipment, such as home appliances, industrial equipment, building automation and health care equipment.
 
“The rate of IoT equipment evolution is increasing and the ability to realise and prototype new ideas has become a critical point for business success or failure,” said Noriaki Nakanishi, vice president at Renesas Electronics. “The new prototyping board will allow our customers to jump-start development, and will contribute to timely market entry of new products and customers’ business success.”
 
Previously, the RL78/G14 starter kit and target boards required an external emulator, and additional costs were associated with high performance versions. The new prototyping board is more affordable and has an on-board emulator circuit with the same functions as the E2 Emulator (E2 Lite), removing the need to purchase additional debugging tools.
 
The board provides access to all the RL78/G14 signal pins and includes Arduino and Pmod interfaces to allow functional expansion. Additionally, by combining a Semtech SX1261 or SX1262 LoRa transceiver with this prototyping board, prototyping for IoT sensor devices using wireless communication based on LoRa with extended period battery drive becomes possible.
 
Furthermore, Renesas provides not only these boards, but also circuit diagrams, parts lists and user manuals necessary to jump-start development, in addition to sample code and application notes related to these products.
 
The RL78/G14 is the most powerful MCU in the RL78 family, achieving a numerical processing performance of 51.2DMips at 32MHz. It includes up to 512kbyte of flash memory and up to 48kbyte of RAM, and provides functions such as timers and 8bit D-A converters. In particular, it achieves the industry's claimed lowest levels of current drain at 66µA/MHZ when the CPU is operating and 240nA in standby mode. This MCU thus suits battery powered portable equipment and IoT sensor terminals, as well as IoT endpoint equipment.