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MCUs Provide HMI Functions for Contactless Systems

Renesas Electronics has introduced the RX671 group of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs). They provide high-performance, high-functionality single-chip solution with touch sensing and voice recognition capabilities for contactless operation. Part of Renesas’ mainstream RX600 Series, the RX671 MCUs are built around an RXv3 CPU core operating at 120 MHz and integrate flash memory supporting fast read access at a clock speed of 60MHz, for excellent real-time performance with a CoreMark score of 707, and power efficiency among the best in the class at 48.8 CoreMark/mA.

Available in a wide variety of packages with pin counts ranging from 48 to 145 pins with up to 2MB of flash memory and 384KB of SRAM, the RX671 MCUs are well suited for a wide range of applications that require advanced functionality, power efficiency, and compact size, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), smart meters, and smart home appliances. For size-constrained devices that require advanced functionality, the RX671 is available with 2 MB of flash memory in a 64-pin TFBGA package measuring only 4.5mm × 4.5mm – among the smallest anywhere among MCUs with 2MB flash memory.

The COVID-19 pandemic created new health and safety requirements that are transforming how people interact with their devices and environments, increasing the demand for hygienic contactless user interfaces in particular, says Renesas. The new RX671 MCU is optimized for contactless applications, integrating a capacitive touch sensing unit that combines high sensitivity with excellent noise tolerance and can be used to implement contactless proximity switches. In addition, the serial sound interface can be used to connect digital microphones that support voice recognition over long distances. Used in combination with voice recognition middleware from Renesas’ RX ecosystem partners, these features enable developers to create contactless operation functions utilizing voice recognition in a short amount of time.

The RX671 integrates Renesas’ Trusted Secure IP as a part of its built-in hardware security engine which comprises an encryption engine with AES, RSA, ECC, and SHA support, a true random number generator (TRNG), and an encrypted key management mechanism. Combining these with the dual-bank function and protection function of the on-chip flash memory, allows users to implement capabilities such as secure firmware updates and secure boot.

Renesas also introduced two new evaluation boards with the RX671 group of MCUs. The Target Board for RX671 makes it easy to evaluate the RX671 without the need for a separate debugger; the Renesas Starter Kit+ for RX671 supports detailed evaluation of the MCU’s main functions. Both boards are equipped with connectors to the Wi-Fi Pmod Expansion Board (RTK00WFMX0B00000BE) for easy evaluation utilizing wireless network connectivity. The combination of Renesas Starter Kit+ for RX671 and the Wi-Fi Pmod Expansion Board is FreeRTOS-certified, allowing users to obtain certified sample programs from GitHub and try out using the RX671 in coordination with AWS without delay.

Renesas has combined the RX671 MCUs with its complementary power devices to create a complete Touchless Button Solution, which can be used to implement hygienic proximity switches on all kinds of devices to prevent viruses or dirt from adhering to the user’s fingers.

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The RX671 group of MCUs is available now in 64-, 100-, and 144-pin LFQFP packages; mass production of the 48-pin HWQFN, 64-pin TFBGA, 100-pin TFLGA and 145-pin TFLGA package products is scheduled to start in Q1 2022. For example, the RX671 is available with a reference price of US $4.94 (excluding tax) in 10,000-unit quantities for the 64-pin LFQFP package version with 2MB of flash memory.

Renesas Electronics | www.renesas.com

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MCUs Provide HMI Functions for Contactless Systems

by Circuit Cellar Staff time to read: 2 min