Renesas Electronics has introduced the RX23W – a 32-bit microcontroller (MCU) featuring Bluetooth 5.0 for IoT endpoint devices such as home appliances and healthcare equipment. By combining Bluetooth 5.0 with Renesas’ Trusted Secure IP on its popular high-performance RX MCU family, Renesas offers customers an optimized single-chip solution for system control and wireless communication, while also providing a more secure way to answer the Bluetooth security risks such as eavesdropping, tampering, and viruses.
“While devices with Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy is not new in the market, Renesas adds value for this ubiquitous wireless technology with a twist: strong emphasis on security and privacy,” said Daryl Khoo, Vice President, Product Marketing, IoT Platform Business Unit at Renesas Electronics Corporation. “The recent security concerns clearly shows that the Bluetooth implementations are getting more complex as more core use cases are defined, and there is a strong need to address better, more secure connections.
“Renesas believes applications deploying Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy capabilities will be complemented with our strength in hardware security, all within one MCU that can handle application, communication and security. I am very pleased that Renesas is well positioned to offer this with our flagship RX family which has a proven track record for reliability and safety.”
The new RX23W is based on Renesas’ RXv2 core, which provides outstanding computational performance with improved FPU (Note 2) and DSP functions and operates at a maximum clock frequency of 54 MHz. The RX23W provides full Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy support including long-range and mesh networking functions and achieves the industry’s lowest level reception mode peak power consumption at 3.0 mA. Furthermore, it integrates a rich set of peripheral functions that are indispensable for IoT equipment, including security, touch key, USB, and CAN functions.
These functions allow the RX23W to implement both system control and Bluetooth wireless functions for IoT endpoint equipment such as home appliances, health care equipment, and sports and fitness equipment on a single chip. In addition, the RX23W’s Bluetooth mesh functions make it optimal for industrial IoT equipment collecting sensor data within a factory or a building.
The RX23W supports long distance communication (long range: 400 m), 2 Mbps (megabit per second) data throughput, and Bluetooth mesh networking, supporting the full functionality of Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy. Furthermore, the RX23W achieves a 3.0 mA reception mode peak current – the industry’s lowest level – and a reception sensitivity level of -105 dBm at 125 Kbps.
In addition to a Bluetooth 5.0 basic protocol stack package, Renesas provides API functions that conform to all standard profiles, including a Health Thermometer Profile (HTP), an Environment Sensing Profile (ESP), and an Automation I/O profile (AIOP). These allow users to start prototype development and evaluation quickly and can speed up the user’s development process.
Renesas provides a Smart Configurator, implemented in a GUI, that can generate all types of MCU peripheral function driver code and pin settings for the e2 Studio integrated development environment (IDE) to generate the Bluetooth driver code.
Renesas also developed a QE for BLE that can generate programs for custom profiles and embed them in user application programs to support application program development. Renesas also developed a Bluetooth Trial Tool Suite that allows users to perform initial wireless characteristics evaluations and Bluetooth functional verification in a GUI. The RX23W target board includes antennas and has already acquired certification under Radio Law. The recommended reference price of this board will be US$55 per unit (excluding tax).
The RX23W integrates Renesas’ Trusted Secure IP (TSIP) as part of its built-in hardware security engine. The TSIP driver uses strong encryption key management with hardware accelerators to securely boot customers’ IoT devices and protect them from security threats. Cryptographic Algorithm Validation Program (CVAP) certification is expected.
The RX23W includes a dedicated Bluetooth high-precision low-speed on-chip oscillator, eliminating the need for external matching circuits and external capacitors. This reduces both BOM (bills of materials) costs and circuit board areas, resulting in lower IoT equipment manufacturing costs.
The RX23W is available now in both 7x7mm 56-pin QFN and 5.5×5.5mm 85-pin GBA packages with 512 KB of on-chip flash memory.