New entry-level MCUs offer best-in-class power consumption

Renesas has launched the RA0 series of microcontrollers to provide a new entry point into 32-bit processing, with essential functions and very low power, cost and size.

Renesas has introduced the RA0 series of microcontrollers based on a 32 MHz Arm® Cortex®-M23 CPU, providing the lowest overall power consumption in the general-purpose 32-bit MCU market.

The RA0 MCUs consume 84.3 μA/MHz of current in active mode, and just 0.82 mA in sleep mode. In addition, Renesas offers a software standby mode in the new MCUs which reduces power consumption by a further 99% to a minuscule 0.2 µA. This is coupled with a high-speed on-chip oscillator (HOCO) for fast wake-up to active mode. 

The first group of MCUs in the RA0 Series are the RA0E1. These MCUs have a feature set which is optimized for cost-sensitive applications. The RA0E1 MCUs offer a wide operating-voltage range of 1.6 V to 5.5 V, saving designers the need to add a level shifter or regulator in 5 V systems. The RA0 MCUs also integrate timers, serial communications, analogue capability, safety functions and human-machine interface features. This high level of integration helps OEMs to reduce component count and cut bill-of-materials cost. 

The RA0E1 MCUs include important diagnostic safety functions, as well as an IEC 60730 self-test library. Security features include a true random number generator, and AES libraries, with encryption functions, for IoT applications. In addition, the HOCO maintains high frequency stability of ±1.0% across a temperature range from -40°C to 105°C. This wide temperature range enables designers to avoid costly and time-consuming trimming, even after the reflow process.

The RA0E1 MCUs are supplied in a wide range of package options, including a tiny 3 mm x 3 mm, 16-lead QFN.

The new RA0E1 Group MCUs are supported by the Renesas flexible software package (FSP). The FSP enables faster application development by providing all the infrastructure software needed, including multiple real-time operating systems (RTOS), a board support package, peripheral drivers, middleware, connectivity, networking, and security stacks as well as reference software to build complex AI, motor control and cloud solutions. The FSP allows designers to integrate legacy code and choice of RTOS with FSP, thus providing full flexibility in application development. The FSP also eases migration of designs from the RA0E1 to larger RA family MCUs.

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