has added to the company’s RL78/L13 Group of low-power microcontrollers
with on-chip LCD controller offering up-to 376 segment drive capability
in an 80-pin package.
The new MCUs are optimal for consumer, health and industrial equipment that are equipped with an LCD panel.
LCD panels are widely used in both consumer and industrial equipment,
including home appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers,
health equipment such as blood pressure monitors and blood
and portable test equipment and meters. Renesas has already released
the RL78/L12 low-power MCUs that reduce power consumption by about 30%
compared to earlier Renesas products as on-chip LCD driver MCUs. There
is now, however, strong demand for an increase in the number of segments
in on-chip LCD driver MCUs to support the large increases of
information shown on LCD panels due to needs to display information such
as power saving status ecological information and the additional
information associated with advanced functionality.
At the same time, the Induction Heating (IH) method is beginning to be
widely used in IH cooking equipment, and industrial equipment as well.
In this IH heating equipment, high-functionality timers are required to
control the IH inverter circuit. Renesas is now releasing the RL78/L13
Group of MCUs to respond to these needs.
The RL78/L13 group of MCUs achieves the industry's highest LCD display
segment count and contributes to richer information displays using LCD
The new RL78/L13 MCUs can drive up to 376 segments achieving the
industry's largest number of LCD segments in an 80-pin MCU. This allows
even more information, such as numbers and symbols, to be displayed on
the LCD panels included in home appliances and other equipment.
The RL78/L13 group of MCUs also provides comparators and high-functionality timers to support system control for IH equipment.
The new MCUs include comparators that are effective for zero cross
detection in AC power supply waveforms and high-functionality timers
that support variable pulse width modulation (PWM) control in real time
and are thus optimal for IH heating control. These high-functionality
timers include a forcible output stop function and can contribute to
improved safety in end products.
The RL78/L13 group provides a high-precision real-time clock (RTC)
function that provides a perpetual high-precision RTC counter. Compared
to the RTC provided in the RL78/L12 Group products, the RTC in the
RL78/L13 products increases the correction resolution and thus increases
the clock precision. Also, the RTC calendar
which indicates the time and date, retains its value without being
cleared by reset factors external to the MCU. These functions make these
products optimal for systems such as measurement equipment and meters
that require a permanent, high-precision RTC counter.
In addition, these new products inherit the superlative features of the
RL78 Family, such as achieving the industry's lowest levels of power
consumption, supporting the IEC 60730 standard, which is a required home
appliance safety standard in Europe, and reducing total system costs by
taking advantage of on-chip peripheral functions integrated on the MCU.
These features allow users to increase end product functionality,
reduce system costs, and improve safety.
Renesas continues to develop on-chip LCD drive MCUs that match market needs and continue to expend their product line.
The RL78/L13 Group of MCUs consists of 24 models in 64-pin and 80-pin packages and flash memory capacities from 16 KB to 128 KB.
Samples of the RL78/L13 Group of MCUs are scheduled for availability
beginning November 2012. Mass production of the RL78/L13 devices is
in February 2013 and is expected to reach a volume of 8,000,000 units
per month for the total of the products of the group in August 2013.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.