Renesas RA0 Cortex-M23 MCU series target power and cost-sensitive applications

Renesas has announced the new low-power RA0 microcontroller series based on the power-efficient Arm Cortex-M23 core and the entry-level RA0E1 Group in the series. According to Renesas, the RA0 microcontrollers offer the “industry’s lowest overall power consumption for general-purpose 32-bit MCUs.”

Renesas RA family lineup

With a current consumption of 84.3 μA/MHz in active mode and only 0.82 mA in sleep mode, these microcontrollers are built to provide ultra-low power consumption. They also offer a Software Standby mode where the CPU, peripheral functions, and internal oscillators cease to operate. This mode reduces power consumption further by 99% down to 0.20 µA. They also come with a high-precision, High-speed On-Chip Oscillator (HOCO) for fast wake-up.

The Cortex-M23 core is based on the Armv8-M instruction set and offers a maximum clock frequency of 32 MHz, with up to 64KB of code flash memory and 12KB SRAM  for storing application code and data. This feature set makes the RA0 microcontrollers perfect for applications that involve small appliances, building automation, industrial system control, and battery-operated consumer electronics.

The RA0E1 Group is the first group in the RA0 series and comprises entry-level products designed for cost-sensitive applications. These devices support a wide operating voltage range of 1.6V to 5.5V so a level regulator is not required for 5V systems.

Renesas RA0E1 block diagram

RA0E1 Group specifications:

  • MCU Core – Arm Cortex-M23 Core up to 32MHz, with
    • Armv8-M architecture
    • Debug and Trace: DWT, FPB, CoreSight MTB-M23
    • CoreSight Debug Port: Serial Wire Debug Port (SW-DP)
  • Memory and Storage
    • 12KB SRAM
    • Code Flash – Up to 64KB
    • Data Flash – 1KB (100,000 program/erase cycles)
    • Flash read protection
  • Connectivity
    • Serial Array Unit (SAU) – 3x SPI, 3x I2C, 2x UART, 1x UART (LIN-bus support)
    • 1x UART
    • 1x I2C bus
    • 29x GPIO (5V tolerance, open drain, input pull-up)
  • Analog
    • 12-bit A/D converter
    • Temperature sensor
  • Timers – 8x 16-bit Timer Array Unit (TAU), 1x 32-bit interval timer (1 channel in 32-bit counter mode, 2 channels in 16-bit counter mode, 4 channels in 8-bit counter mode)
  • Safety – SRAM parity error check, ADC self-diagnosis function, Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC), Independent Watchdog Timer (IWDT),  GPIO readback level detection, invalid memory access detection
  • System and Memory Protection
    • Low power modes
    • Realtime Clock (RTC)
    • Event Link Controller (ELC)
    • Data Transfer Controller (DTC)
    • Power-on reset
    • Low Voltage Detection (LVD) with voltage settings
  • Clock Sources
    • Main clock oscillator (MOSC) (1 to 20 MHz)
    • Sub-clock oscillator (SOSC) (32.768 kHz)
    • High-speed on-chip oscillator (HOCO) (24/32 MHz)
    • Middle-speed on-chip oscillator (MOCO) (4 MHz)
    • Low-speed on-chip oscillator (LOCO) (32.768 kHz)
    • Clock trim function for HOCO/MOCO/LOCO
  • Security – True Random Number Generator (TRNG), Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
  • Operating Voltage – VCC: 1.6V to 5.5V
  • Operating Temperature – -40°C to 105°C
  • Packages
    • 32-pin LQFP (7 mm × 7 mm, 0.8 mm pitch)
    • 32-pin HWQFN (5 mm × 5 mm, 0.5 mm pitch)
    • 24-pin HWQFN (4 mm × 4 mm, 0.5 mm pitch)
    • 20-pin LSSOP (4.4 mm × 6.5 mm, 0.65 mm pitch)
    • 16-pin HWQFN (3 mm × 3 mm, 0.5 mm pitch)

The RA0E1 Group is supported by Renesas’ Flexible Software Package (FSP), which provides all the tools needed for application development such as multiple real-time operating systems (RTOS), board support package, middleware, connectivity networking, and security stacks, as well as code samples for building complex artificial intelligence, motor control, and cloud solutions.

Renesas has integrated its new RA0E1 microcontrollers with other components and devices to create several Winning Combinations, including an HVAC Environment Monitor Module for Public Buildings.

Fast Prototyping Board for RA0E1
RA0E1 Fast Prototyping Board

The RA0E1 Group MCUs are available now, along with FSP software and a “Fast Prototyping” board. Samples and kits can be purchased via the Renesas website or from distributors. The press release and product page have more information about the new MCUs, including documentation and software downloads. Renesas is also doing a live demonstration of the new RA0 MCUs at Embedded World 2024 in Nuremberg, Germany in Hall 1, Stand 234.

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2 months ago

>only 0.82 mA in sleep mode

there seems to be a mistake

2 months ago

It is not low-power. They chosen the same strategy as ST. Similarly to STM32C0 they cost-cut power optimization and RA0E1 is much power hungry in comparison with RA2. Cost-cut happended on peripherals as well, but still it is good competitor, I think.

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