Renesas RA8T1 Cortex-M85 MCU targets motor control applications

It took a while before Renesas released its first Arm Cortex-M85 microcontroller (RA8M1) in October 2023, but the company has now launched the RA8T1 Cortex-M85 MCU for motor control just a few weeks after announcing the RA8D1 for HMI applications.

The RA8T1 group is the third Cortex-M85 microcontroller family from Renesas with a feature set optimized for motor control and leveraging machine learning through Arm Helium technology and a DSP for predictive maintenance requirements for motors.

Renesas RA8T1 block diagram
Renesas RA8T1 block diagram

Renesas RA8T1 key features and specifications:

  • MCU core – Arm Cortex-M85 clocked at 480 MHz with Helium MVE (M-Profile Vector Extension) with 32KB I/D caches, 12KB data flash
  • Memory & Storage
    • 1MB SRAM including 128KB TCM
    • 1MB to 2MB Flash memory
    • 2x SD/MMC host interfaces (SDHI)
  • Communication interfaces
    • Ethernet MAC with DMA
    • USB – 1x USB 2.0 Full Speed interface
    • 2x CAN-FD
    • Up to 6x SCI (UART, Simple SPI, Simple I2C)
    • 2x SPI up to 60 Mbps, 2x I2C, 1x I3C
  • Analog
    • 2x 12-bit ADC, 2x 12-bit DAC
    • 2x high-speed analog comparator
    • Temperature sensor
  • System
    • Low power modes
    • Battery backup function (VBATT)
    • Event Link Controller (ELC)
    • Data Transfer Controller (DTC)
    • 8-channel DMA Controller (DMAC)
    • Power-on reset
    • Programmable Voltage Detection (PVD) with voltage settings
  • Timers
    • 8x 32-bit PWM timers, 6x 16-bit PWM timers
    • 2x low-power asynchronous general-purpose timers
    • 1x Ultra-low-power timers
  • Security
    • ARMv8-M TrustZone Security
    • Renesas Secure IP (RSIP-E51A) with AES, RSA, ECC, HASH, 128-unique ID
    • Privileged control
    • Device lifecycle management
    • Secure boot
    • Secure factory programming
    • Tamper protection
  • Packages – 100-pin (LQFP100 14x14mm ), 144-pin (LQFP144 20x20mm ), 176-pin (LQFP176 24x24mm) and 224-pin (BGA224 13x13mm) packages
MCK-RA8T1 motor control kit and MCB-RA8T1 CPU Board
MCK-RA8T1 motor control kit (left) and MCB-RA8T1 CPU board (right)

Renesas also provides the MCB-RA8T1 CPU board equipped with the R7FA8T1AHECBD microcontroller (224-pin package) and the MCK-RA8T1 development kit comprised of the CPU board, an inverter board (MCI-LV-1), a communication board (MC-COM), permanent magnet synchronous motors, and accessories such as cables and standoffs.

The RA8T1 group MCUs are supported by Renesas Flexible Software Package (FSP) with support for multiple RTOS, a BSP, peripheral drivers, middleware, connectivity, networking, and security stacks. Reference software to build AI, motor control, and cloud solutions are also provided including a “winning solution” that implements a 20KW 3-phase PFC (Full Power Converter) Inverter with an RA6M3 MCU that works as a middle communication controller and an RA8T1 MCU acting as a digital controller for high-power PFC inverters with up to 20KW capacities.

20KW 3 phase PFC Inverter
Renesas 20KW 3-phase PFC Inverter block diagram

The RA8T1 Group MCUs and the development kit are said to be available now. While I could not find pricing for the microcontrollers at the time of writing, the MCK-RA8T1 development kit is sold for $604.49. Additional information, including documentation and links to software development tools, can be found on the product page, and a few more details may also be available in the press release.

Renesas RA family MCU portfolio January 2024
Renesas RA family MCU portfolio as of January 31, 2024

Thanks to TLS for the tip.

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1 Comment
Andreas Elfving
Andreas Elfving
5 months ago

No lock-step at all for motor control? Really? That’s… a choice, I guess
In the block diagram, is this the can master or slave, or both (with different software)?

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