Renesas Electronics today announced the availability of the new RL78/F13 and RL78/F14 16-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) that contribute to enhanced development efficiency, reduced system costs, lower system power consumption and improved functional safety features for automotive control systems.
The new MCUs consist of total of 91 products including 60 products in the RL78/F13 Group and 31 products in the FL78/F14 Group. The RL78/F13 MCUs are designed for use in an extensive range of automotive applications; from body control systems such as power window and side mirror control, to automotive motor control systems such as electric water pumps and cooling fans. The RL78/F14 MCUs support the body control system applications, such as BCM (body control module) and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) control that require especially large memory capacities.
In recent years, automobiles have seen an increasing use of electronics for functions such as real-time recognition and cloud connection IT to achieve automobiles that, in addition to the existing automotive functions of running, turning, and stopping, also provide a safe, secure, and pleasant driving experience. While there continues to be demand for diversification of specifications by automakers and by model, there is, along with this trend, also a demand for an extensive MCU lineup that can cover all ECU (electronic control unit) systems as a common platform solution. Furthermore, as the use of electronics in cars increases, the number of ECUs in a single car is also increasing. Therefore both automakers and ECU manufacturers are concerned with miniaturization, lighter weight, and lower power consumption in ECUs, and are also striving to assure safety as well. Renesas addresses these market needs by introducing the new RL78/F13 and RL78/F14 MCUs that offer a rich set of features and safety capabilities required for future ECU developments.
Key features of the RL78/F13 and RL78/F14 MCUs:
1) Extensive product lineup that supports easy platform standardization contribute to development efficiency
To support needs such as the ability to change ROM sizes due to difference in system specifications to supporting reuse in a completely different system, the new MCUs all integrate the same CPU core, peripheral functions including automotive networks such as CAN (Controller Area Network) and LIN (Local Interconnect Network), and pin layout. For example, the RL78/F13 MCUs have internal flash memory sizes from 16- to 128-kilobytes (KB) and packages from 20- to 80-pins, and the RL78/F14 MCUs have internal flash memory with capacities from 48- to 256 KB, packages from 30- to 100-pins, and RAM with capacities up to 20 KB. With such an extensive lineup, the RL78/F13 and RL78/F14 MCUs support a wide range of applications. This enables the construction of a development platform based on the reuse of design assets such as software and printed circuit boards which contribute to increased development efficiency of the overall systems.
Furthermore, the RL78/F13 and RL78/F14 MCUs adopt the respective high-functionality MCU peripheral functions of the existing Renesas’ 78K0R and R8C CPU cores. This allows system manufacturers to make effective use of existing assets and also achieve improved performance by adding multiply-and-accumulate instructions to the CPU core.
2) Compact package and support for high-temperature operation up to 150°C allow reduction of the overall unit size
Renesas has developed a new QFN (Quad Flat No-leads) package to respond to needs for even more compact ECUs. When compared to Renesas’ existing 32-pin SSOP (Shrink Small Outline Package), the new QFN package can reduce mounting areas by approximately 69 percent. Compared to Renesas’ existing QFN packages, the new QFN package has indentations on the pin side surface to improve solder wettability during mounting. This makes it possible to mount the new MCU devices without making any changes to the factory production line. The adoption of this new QFN package allows the size of the printed circuit board to be reduced, and therefore contribute to miniaturization of the overall ECU systems.
Furthermore, while there is increasing demand for unification of mechanics and electronics in which MCUs are directly mounted in actuators to achieve further system miniaturization, since ambient temperatures (Ta) can reach high levels in applications such as water pumps, it was difficult to use existing MCUs in such applications. Since the RL78/F13 and RL78/F14 MCUs can operate in ambient temperatures of up to 150°C, they can be directly mounted in actuators, thus contributing to further system miniaturization.
3) 50 percent reduced standby mode power consumption contribute to low power system design
By adopting a lower current consumption process, standby mode current consumption of the RL78/F13 and RL78/F14 MCUs are reduced by 50 percent from the 1 µA (microampere) of Renesas’ existing 78K0R/Fx3 MCUs to 500 nA (nanoampere). The new MCUs also contribute to lower system power consumption with a function that allows A/D conversions to be performed without activating the CPU.
4) Extensive set of hardware functions that support functional safety
Improved structures (for functional safety) that allow electrical or electronic faults to be detected and safety assured are now strongly desired for automotive systems in preparation for conformance with the ISO 26262 functional safety standard, and there is a growing need to incorporate the self-diagnostic functions within the MCUs.
The RL78/F13 and RL78/F14 MCUs incorporate a variety of hardware features that support systems’ functional safety including: a test function that verifies that the A/D converter is operating correctly by converting a reference voltage or the power supply voltage and comparing the result to a standard value; a function that prevents software runaway by detecting stack overflow with an interrupt; and a function that detects if an external clock oscillator has stopped by comparing it to an internal oscillator.
Sample of Renesas Electronics' new RL78/F13 and RL78/F14 MCUs will be available in October 2013. Mass production is scheduled to begin in September 2014 and is expected to reach a combined volume of 2,500,000 units per month in September 2015. (Availability is subject to change without notice.)