Renesas Electronics Corporation, a provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, has introduced RA4W1 — the first RA microcontroller (MCU) with enhanced security and privacy for Bluetooth 5.0 low energy connections.
The single-chip MCU, with an integrated Bluetooth 5.0 radio, is supported with a flexible software package (FSP) that enables engineers to begin development with Arm ecosystem software and hardware building blocks. These work ideally with RA MCUs.
The MCU includes a 48 MHz, 32-bit Arm Cortex-M4 core and Bluetooth 5.0 core delivered in a 56-pin QFN package. The RA4W1 MCU makes it easy for embedded designers to develop a safe and secure IoT endpoint devices for Industry 4.0, building automation, metering, healthcare, consumer wearable, and home appliance applications. It’s also suitable for IoT edge devices for wireless sensor networks, IoT hubs, an add-on to gateways, and an aggregator to IoT cloud applications.
“Customers can also take full advantage of the on-chip MCU features, including Secure Crypto Engine to implement strong key management for the ultimate IoT security, and best-in-class output power consumption and sensitivity to achieve a superior link budget for longer-range applications,” said Sakae Ito, VP of IoT Platform Business Division at Renesas.
RA4W1 MCU at a glance
Among the key features of RA4W1 MCU, the most notable are Arm Cortex M4 core and Bluetooth 5.0 core housed in 7mm x 7mm 56-pin QFN. Here are a few others:
- The single-chip MCU features field upgradeable 512 KB flash memory, 96 KB SRAM, and connectivity such as USB, CAN, and Renesas’ popular HMI capacitive touch technology.
- The MCU includes Renesas’ Secure Crypto Engine supporting customers with symmetric encryption and decryption, hash functions, true random number generation (TRNG), and advanced key handling with key generation and MCU-unique key wrapping.
- The RA4W1 MCU comes with full Bluetooth 5.0 support with industry best power consumption and sensitivity for superior reception.
- It supports full Bluetooth 5.0 functions such as 2 Mbps data throughput, all advertising extension functions with maximum advertising length (1650 Byte), periodic advertisements, and channel selection algorithm #2 for applications requiring large amounts of traffic.
- The device also offers superior low peak power consumption at 3.3mA during receiving and 4.5mA (@0dBm) while transmitting. An industry best sensitivity of -105dBm in 125kbps mode is achieved without additional loss from external components.
- The MCU is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 basic stack package and all standard profiles. For instance, several API functions that conform to Heart Rate Profile (HRP), an Environment Sensing Profile (ESP), an Automation I/O profile (AIOP), and many more profiles.
- The advanced MCU paves the way for the simultaneous development of communication and system control.
- Offers seamless Bluetooth code and MCU peripheral function driver code as well as pin settings for the e 2 Studio integrated development environment (IDE) is achieved thanks to Smart Configurator GUI.
All of these attributes enable users to quickly start and speed up prototype development and evaluation. In fact, the programs for custom profiles are generated and embedded in user application programs by the Renesas QE tool for BLE. The Bluetooth Trial Tool Suite GUI allows users to perform initial wireless characteristics evaluations and Bluetooth functional verification. This means users can easily have the RA4W1 evaluation board up and running with the downloadable smartphone applications demo in less than 30 minutes.
- The product entails reduced BOM (bills of materials). It has a high- precision, low-speed on-chip oscillator, and also integrates an RF oscillator adjustment circuit and on-chip matching circuit for the easy antenna connection.
- This high-level of integration reduces both BOM costs and circuit board area, resulting in lower IoT equipment manufacturing costs.
- The FSP of RA4W1 MCU allows customers to re-use their legacy code and combine it with software examples from Renesas and ecosystem partners. It speeds the implementation of complex functions, such as connectivity and security.
- The package features FreeRTOS and middleware offering a premium device-to-cloud option for developers. These innovative options can be easily replaced and expanded with any other RTOS or middleware.