Engineering 101

Prototyping Board to Simplify IoT Endpoint Equipment Prototyping

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Renesas Electronics has launched the RL78/G14 Fast Prototyping Board – a low-cost, function-rich board to enable rapid product development for IoT endpoint equipment. Quicker development prototyping and lower costs give users the agility to respond to rapid changes in technology and market needs, and reduces the time to market window for new products.

Renesas also introduced the RL78/G1D BLE Module Expansion Board, which users can combine with the new prototyping board to add Bluetooth Low Energy wireless communication functions with ease.

The new prototyping board is based on the RL78/G14 microcontroller (MCU), which provides the richest set of functions in the low-power RL78 Family, making it well suited 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 realize and prototype new ideas has become a critical point for business success or failure”, said Noriaki Nakanishi, Vice President of the MCU Device Solution Business Division, IoT & Infrastructure Business Unit 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 released today is easily 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 new board provides access to all of the RL78/G14 signal pins and includes Arduino and Pmod interfaces to allow easy 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 51.2 DMIPS at 32 MHz. It includes up to 512 KB of flash memory and up to 48 KB of RAM, and provides functions such as timers and 8-bit D/A converters.

In particular, it achieves the industry’s lowest levels of current drain, 66 µA/MHZ, when the CPU is operating and 240 nA in standby mode. This MCU is optimal for battery powered portable equipment and IoT sensor terminals, as well as a wide range of IoT endpoint equipment.

Both boards are available now with recommended reference prices of $20 per unit for the RL78/G14 Fast Prototyping Board and $25 per unit for the RL78/G1D BLE Module Expansion Board.

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