Renesas RX600 Series CISC Microcontrollers

Renesas Technology Corp. recently launched the RX600 Series CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) based microcontrollers (MCUs). The new devices will be the first 32-bit products to incorporate the next-generation ‘RX’ CPU architecture and offer CPU performance of up to 200MHz, with the industry’s fastest single-cycle flash access capability (100MHz). The initial product in the RX600 Series is scheduled for sample shipment in the second quarter of 2009. Renesas also plans to offer ASSP (Application Specific Standard Product) versions of RX600 chips that will incorporate such in-demand peripheral functions as a USB module (Host/Function), CAN interface, Ethernet module, and motor-control timer.

The devices will have up to 4MB on-chip flash, up to 256KB SRAM and highly integrated advanced peripheral functions. They will also be upward-compatible with Renesas’ current product lines, providing customers an easy upgrade path to higher performance devices.

The RX600 Series MCUs are designed for high-end embedded system applications, particularly those in the office automation, digital consumer product, white-goods, automotive, and similar fields. Such applications require high speed and fast processing performance and the ability to handle large programs.

RX600 Series MCU Features

  • Fast, high-performance, code-efficient RX CPU core
    The RX CPU core is capable of 200MHz operation. It has a Harvard architecture with a 5-stage pipeline and can perform program reads and data writes in parallel, enabling 1.25 MIPS/MHz processing performance (Dhrystone 2.1 benchmark). The CPU’s instruction set is optimized, resulting in a 30-percent boost in code efficiency compared to current Renesas products.

  • On-chip flash memory capable of 100MHz high-speed operation
    The RX600 Series incorporates Renesas’ proprietary MONOS (Metal Oxide Nitride Oxide Silicon) flash memory with single-cycle read capability at 100MHz — the industry’s fastest. The flash memory’s read speed and large capacity (up to 4MB) accommodate more complex application programs that perform better and provide greater functionality. In addition, all RX600 Series chips have a special area of on-chip flash memory that is guaranteed for up to 100,000 rewrites and can be used for nonvolatile data storage. This flash works with a BGO (Background Operation) function, enabling parallel flash memory programming during program execution, making it ideal for data backup and other uses.

  • Market-proven on-chip peripheral functions, and compatibility with existing products
    The new series features on-chip peripheral functions (such as a timer, serial interface, A/D converter, and D/A converter) that have established a proven track record in current Renesas products. These functions allow existing software assets to be employed with the same ease of use as with current products, for shorter system development times.

  • MCU Development Platform for speedy product development
    Renesas uses its EXREAL Platform[tm], an integrated mother platform, to implement new SoC (System on Chip) products. Now the concept of this successful development system has been applied to construct the ‘MCU Development Platform’ for MCUs. This advanced support product facilitates speedy RX Family chip development and product deployment.

  • Extended functions tailored for diverse applications
    A variety of functions can be installed as options on RX600 Series devices. One such function is a memory protection unit. This function controls whether or not specific software can gain access to a restricted storage area, allowing for heightened system security. Another option for the new series devices is a single-precision floating-point unit and DSP function for accelerating the execution of filter operations and algorithm computations. These capabilities are essential for the high-speed processing of image and audio data.

More info: Renesas Technology