32-bit RX Microcontrollers with Built-In Analog Front End & an MCU on a single chip

Renesas Electronics today introduced the RX23E-A Group 32-bit RX microcontrollers (MCUs), combining high-precision analog front end (AFE) and an MCU on a single chip. Designed for manufacturing and test and measurement equipment applications that require high-precision measurements of analog signals for temperature, pressure, weight, and flow, the RX23E-A MCUs are the first Renesas solutions to enable such signals to be measured with better than 0.1% precision without calibration.

The new MCUs achieve AFE precision at the highest class in the industry (offset drift: 10 nV/°C, gain drift: 1 ppm/°C, and RMS noise: 30 nV rms), a level that could previously only be achieved by combining dedicated A/D converter circuits with high-precision operational amplifier ICs. By integrating this high-precision AFE IP (intellectual property) on a single chip using the same fabrication process technology, Renesas has made it possible to implement high-precision sensor measurement, computation, control, and communications on a single chip. This allows system manufactures to reduce the number of required components, save space, and simplify system design in a wide range of equipment requiring high-precision measurement, such as sensing, temperature controllers, recording, weighing, and force sensing. It also accelerates endpoint intelligence by enabling distributed processing with MCUs.

“The RX23E-A MCUs will radically evolve the structure of high-precision analog measurement systems,” said Akira Denda, Vice President, Industrial Automation Business Division, Renesas Electronics Corporation. “Moving forward, Renesas is aiming to deliver an extensive product line, starting with the RX23E-A Group, that integrates MCUs and high-precision analog on a single chip for programmable logic controllers, distributed control system applications, and test and measurement equipment that require a variety of higher precision measurements.”

With big data-driven quality and productivity improvements, the pressure is on for factories and manufacturing sites to measure a wide variety of sensor data accurately and reliably. Since users require stability when measuring small signals at high precision over a wide environmental temperature range, it is important to reduce noise characteristics and temperature drift characteristics to low levels. To address to these needs, Renesas has developed a high-precision AFE and integrated it into an RX MCU with an extensive track record with industrial applications.

The RX23E-A MCUs are based on the RXv2 core, which features operating speeds of 32 MHz, a digital signal processor (DSP), and superlative floating point unit (FPU) calculations. This allows the implementation of adaptive control using temperature data and inverse matrix calculations using 6-axis distortion data. For example, robot arm force sensors require the measurement and calculation of the 6-axis distortion in a small space. The RX23E-A MCUs make it possible to measure the 6-axis distortion data and perform the inverse matrix calculations with a single chip.