Power_electronics Features

NewSpace demands low voltage, high current power for performance and longevity - Nov 2022
Matt Renola, Senior Director, Global Business Development – Aerospace & Defense
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Power Electronics Europe News
RE microcontroller with Bluetooth 5.0 advances energy harvesting for the IoT
The 32-bit microcontroller was developed using Renesas’ SOTB (Silicon on Thin Buried Oxide) process technology. As a result, the Bluetooth-capable RE01B is suitable for energy harvesting systems and intelligent IoT devices that need to operate constantly at extremely low power levels without the need to replace or recharge batteries.

On-chip energy harvesting control circuit (rapid start-up capacitor charging and secondary battery charge protection functionality) allows users to achieve battery-less Bluetooth communication, says Renesas. Energy harvesting and power storage can be directly connected to the RE01B.

It has 1.5Mbyte flash memory and 256kbyte SRAM with Bluetooth functionality, to implement regular data management and firmware updates over Bluetooth while maintaining ultra-low power consumption, says the company.

With long range support for Bluetooth 5.0 (up to 400 m) and high data throughput (2Mbit/s), the microcontroller can be used for healthcare devices such as pulse oximeters and biomedical sensor patches. It can also be used for remote controls with voice recognition capabilities and smart meter modules in intelligent buildings. Other target applications are IoT devices that require constant operation, periodic data collection and updates.

Shigeki Kato, vice president of the Enterprise Infrastructure business division at Renesas, said: “I am excited that the addition of the new Bluetooth-capable RE MCU will remove the needs for battery maintenance in a broader range of systems, and meet the needs of IoT system manufacturers.” 

The microcontroller is built around the Arm Cortex-M0 core, and is based on the proprietary SOTB process technology which operates at a maximum operating frequency of 64MHz and achieves current consumption as low as 35µA/MHz during operation and 600nA during standby.

The RE01B can be combined with Renesas’ ISL9123 ultra-low Iq DC/DC converter, configured as an external step-down regulator, to reduce current consumption during operation down to 15µA/MHz for even better power efficiency.

Operating voltage range is 1.62 to 3.6V with high-speed operation of up to 64MHz. It is supplied in a 64-pin QFN package measuring 8.0 x 8.0mm.

There are several development tools, including a QE for Bluetooth Low Energy, which generates programs for custom Bluetooth profiles that can then be integrated into the user’s own application programs, and a Bluetooth test tool suite, which provides a graphical user interface (GUI) that allows users to perform initial wireless characteristics evaluations and Bluetooth functionality verification.

The RE01B is available now.  



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