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Energy harvesting MCUs for any IoT device

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By Rich Pell

The RE01’s 32-bit CPU core enables users to implement intelligent functions in equipment powered by low levels of harvested energy through ambient energy such as light, vibration, or fluid flow. The RE01 Group of embedded controllers is based on the Arm Cortex-M0+ core, which can operate at clock frequencies up to 64 MHz, and provide up to 1.5 MB of low-power flash memory and 256 KB of SRAM.

The RE01 can operate at voltages as low as 1.62 V and the lineup includes three package versions: a 156-pin WLBGA package, a 144-pin LQFP package, and a 100-pin LQFP package. The RE01 also includes an energy harvesting control circuit, an ultra-low power 14-bit A/D converter, and a low power circuit that can rotate, enlarge, or invert graphics data. Following the mass production of the RE01 Group (formerly known as the R7F0E embedded controllers), the first of the RE Family, the company also launched the RE01 Group Evaluation Kit, which allows users working with the RE01 Group of devices to jump start system evaluations for energy harvesting applications.

The new RE01 Evaluation Kit includes an evaluation board which features an RE01 embedded controller, an interface for the energy harvesting device and a rechargeable battery interface. The Kit also includes an Arduino-compatible interface for easy expansion and evaluation of sensor boards and a Pmod connector to expand and evaluate wireless functionality. In addition, there is an ultra-low power MIP LCD (note 1) expansion board so that users can evaluate display functions faster.

The kit also contains sample code and application notes that  serve as references for power management design that eliminates the need for battery maintenance, and driver software that supports CMSIS, Arm’s Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard. Sample code for ultra-low power A/D converters, digital filter and FFT (fast Fourier transform) routines, 2D graphics MIP LCD displays, and secure boot and secure firmware update functions for improved security are available.

With these features, this kit makes it possible to adopt energy harvesting based on RE01 Group devices at the system level and will accelerate the development of equipment that does not require battery maintenance. IAR Embedded Workbench for Arm which can use the high efficiency IAR C/C++ compiler, and e2 studio (note 2) which can use the free GNU compiler are available as the developmental environment.

Renesas Electronics – www.renesas.com


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