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Renesas Technology Releases Full HD-Compatible R8J66957BG and WXGA-Compatible R8J66955BG SoC Products with Package Among Industry's Smallest Class for North American LCD Digital TV Market

Built around new RX CPU core with twice the processing performance of earlier Renesas Technology CPUs and incorporating a variety of peripheral functions for enhanced flexibility

Renesas Technology Corp. announced the first RX Family MCU products built around the new RX CPU, which will form the core of the company's MCU business in the years to come, the eight new 32-bit RX610 Group. Sample shipments will begin in June 2009 sequentially in Japan.

The RX Family refers collectively to next-generation MCUs built around the new RX CPU core and integrating the capabilities of Renesas Technology's existing 16-bit and 32-bit MCUs employing complex instruction set computer (CISC)*1 architecture. They are being rolled out in two series: the RX600 Series, designed for high speed and superior performance, and the RX200 Series, designed for low-voltage operation and low power consumption.

The first products in the RX Family form the RX610 Group, which belongs to the RX600 Series. These MCUs are ideal for applications such as high-end office equipment and digital consumer products that demand the ability to run large-scale programs rapidly and at a high performance level. The new RX610 Group has a maximum operating frequency of 100 MHz, and its features are summarized below.

  1. RX CPU core with approximately twice the processing performance of previous Renesas Technology products and the industry's best code efficiency*2

    The RX CPU core delivers industry top-class performance, exceeding its development target of 1.25 MIPS/MHz to achieve processing performance of 1.65 IPS/MHz. This translates into approximately twice the performance of previous Renesas Technology 32-bit CISC MCUs when running at the same operating frequency, so programs can execute rapidly and efficiently.

    Another important factor the customer must consider when selecting an MCU is code efficiency (effective utilization of program memory). Code efficiency is an index of the efficiency with which program source code is converted into the object code that is actually executed by the CPU. Better code efficiency means more compact object code, so less memory capacity is needed to store the object code.

    The RX CPU core delivers industry top-level code efficiency, more than 30% better than that of earlier Renesas Technology products. This means customers can select an MCU version with a smaller memory capacity and helps to reduce system cost overall.

  2. High-functionality on-chip flash memory with the industry's top speed and large capacity

    The RX610 Group has maximum 2 megabytes of high-speed and large-capacity flash memory for storing programs. The 90 nm process node and Renesas Technology's exclusive metal oxide nitride oxide silicon (MONOS) structure are used to achieve single-cycle access at 100 MHz, the maximum operating frequency of the CPU, for high-speed operation that is at the top level in the industry. Not only does this flash memory contribute to faster program execution, its ample
    capacity of maximum 2 megabytes can accommodate large-scale programs for systems demanding sophisticated functionality.]

    In addition, the RX610 Group has 32 kilobytes of data flash memory with a background operation (BGO) function that enables data to written at the same time a program is executing. This functionality allows data writes without slowing program execution, making it ideal for backup applications and the like.

    These two types of on-chip memory help eliminate the need to add external memory in large-scale systems, where the on-chip memory capacity of earlier MCUs would be insufficient. This reduces the mounting area and development man-hours required while contributing to lower system cost and faster operation.

  3. Full complement of peripheral functions from earlier Renesas Technology products to maintain compatibility

    In addition to peripheral functions with an established track record in earlier Renesas Technology products, the RX610 Group provides enhanced functions to meet specific requirements.

    The peripheral functions with an established track record include a timer pulse unit suitable for various applications, a compare-match timer, and an 8-bit timer; a data transfer unit for efficient data transfer, and serial communication interface; a 10-bit A/D converter and 10-bit D/A converter; and a CRC circuit. These peripheral functions maintain compatibility with existing Renesas Technology products and simplify migration from them to the RX600 Series.

    The A/D converter has been enhanced with a faster conversion speed of 1 μs and an expanded configuration of four units (total 16 channels [four channels per unit]). Each unit can perform highspeed conversion simultaneously with the others, enabling effective processing of data from multiple sensors.

    There is also an I2C bus interface supporting high-performance communication between devices, a new peripheral function.

  4. Achieved low power consumption

    The CPU core current development target of 0.03 mA/MHz has been achieved, and the current consumption of the RX610 Group is about 50 mA (typ.) when operating at 100 MHz. The resulting current consumption per 1 MHz of operating frequency is less than half that of comparable earlier Renesas Technology products. The RX610 Group also provides four powerdown (low-power) modes, making it possible to reduce system power consumption substantially by selecting the appropriate mode to match the application. For example, in deep standby mode, which is intended to be used when the system is in standby status or the like, current consumption is only 3 μA or so. The low current consumption characteristics of the RX610 Group, including during normal operation, are in the top class in the industry.

  5. A variety of tools to help shorten development cycles

    Three emulators are planned as hardware development environments for the RX610 Group: the E100, E20, and E1. The E100 is a high-functionality full-spec emulator, the E20 provides a superior cost-performance ratio, and the E1 is a low-cost model. Customers can select the emulator that best matches their debugging requirements.

    High-Performance Embedded Workshop, Renesas Technology's standard development environment, is available as an integrated development environment. It enables customers to use resources developed with High-Performance Embedded Workshop for earlier Renesas Technology MCUs. Also available are a C/C++ compiler, a realtime OS conforming to the μITRON*3 specification, and the Flash Development Toolkit (FDT) for programming the on-chip flash memory.

    The RX C/C++ compiler covers earlier Renesas Technology MCU's language specifications, enhanced specifications and endian specifications. This enables customers to simplify porting to RX from existing software assets.

    In addition to the above, Renesas Technology's partner vendors are developing hardware and software development environments for the RX Family.

Product Details

The RX610 Group is built around the high-performance RX CPU core and delivers performance of approximately 1.65 MIPS/MHz at its maximum operating frequency of 100 MHz. The basic structure of the CPU employs a five-stage pipeline and a Harvard architecture that enables simultaneous instruction reads and data writes. Its performance is further enhanced by the ability to execute operations in fewer cycles, an improved multiply-and-accumulate unit, and a 32-bit barrel shifter. Together, these improvements enable the RX610 Group to deliver about twice the performance of earlier Renesas Technology 32-bit CISC MCUs when running at the same operating frequency.

Another factor in CPU performance is code efficiency, which is an index of the efficiency with which program source code is converted into object code. When developing the RX, Renesas Technology engineers decided on a CPU instruction set consisting of instructions that are variable in byte (8-bit) units (with each instruction being 1 to 8 bytes long). They ran a variety of benchmarks to determine the usage frequency of each instruction and address specification method. Steps were then taken to boost the core efficiency based on the results, such as assigning short instruction codes to the most frequently used instructions and using optimized addressing modes and a three-operand format. As a result, the RX achieves code efficiency that is at the top level in the industry.

The RX610 Group also has a maximum 2 megabytes of high-speed on-chip flash memory. Generally speaking, it is difficult in theoretical terms to use a high maximum operating frequency for the flash memory, compared to the CPU and other logic circuits. When the operating frequency of the flash memory is lower than that of the CPU, it is necessary to add wait cycles to operations that read data from memory. This unnecessarily prolongs the time required for programs to execute. Employing technology exclusive to Renesas Technology, the on-chip flash memory in the RX610 Group is of the MONOS type and uses the 90 nm process node to achieve single-cycle access at 100 MHz, the same as the maximum operating frequency of the CPU. This means no wasted time due to wait cycles and
contributes to faster program execution. In addition, 32 kilobytes of flash memory with BGO for data storage provides excellent flexibility, allowing data to be written at the same time a program is executing. There is also 128 kilobytes of on-chip RAM for temporary storage of programs and operation data that helps speed up program processing.

The RX610 Group also has a generous and varied array of peripheral functions. Modules such as the 16-bit timer pulse unit (12 channels), 16-bit compare-match timer (4 channels), 8-bit timer (4 channels), serial communication interface (7 channels), 10-bit A/D converter (16 channels, 4 units), 10-bit D/A converter (2 channels), and CRC circuit are peripheral functions with an established track record that have been retained from earlier Renesas Technology products and which maintain compatibility with those products.

For more efficient data transfer, dedicated buses are provided for the direct memory access controller (4 channels) and data transfer controller.

The A/D converter has a fast conversion speed of 1 μs and its four units can perform high-speed conversion simultaneously, providing more flexibility for customers and enabling enhanced functionality. Finally, an I2C bus interface supporting a communication speed of 1 Mbps (megabits per second), faster than previous Renesas Technology MCUs, has been added as a new peripheral function.

Three emulators are planned as hardware development environments: the E100, E20, and E1. The E100 is a high-functionality full-spec emulator consisting of a main unit common to all MCU versions and an MCU unit matching the specific MCU under development. This means that customers who already own the E100 main unit need only purchase the RX Family MCU unit. The E20 and E1 are on-chip debuggers suitable for small- or medium-scale system development. In addition, the E1 is a low-cost development tool at an attractive price that also functions as a flash programmer.

The available packages are the 144-pin LQFP and the compact 176-pin BGA. The compact BGA package has a smaller mounting area, making it suitable for more compact products.

Renesas Technology will use its MCU development platform to develop new products efficiently and in a timely manner. Future additions to the RX600 Series will include versions with a variety of onchip memory and package configurations, as well as peripheral functions for which there is strong market demand such as a USB module, a CAN interface, an Ethernet module timers for motor control, and so on.

Development work is also accelerating on the RX200 Series of low-voltage and low-power MCUs. By offering two complementary series of next-generation MCUs, the RX600 Series and RX200 Series, Renesas Technology hopes to provide a lineup of products to meet every customer requirement while further strengthening its MCU business.

Typical Applications
  • Office equipment: Laser printers, copiers, compact printers, etc.
  • Digital consumer products: Digital cameras, etc.
  • Audio equipment