Dev kit speeds analog sensor evaluation and calibration - Embedded.com

Dev kit speeds analog sensor evaluation and calibration

Renesas Electronics Corp. has introduced the Renesas Solution Starter Kit (RSSK) for developers working with the 32-bit RX23E-A microcontroller (MCU). The RX23E-A, with a highly accurate analog front end (AFE), features less than 0.1% precision without calibration. The development kit is designed to shorten the time it takes to evaluate and calibrate different sensor types for sensing equipment.

The RX23E-A’s integrated delta-sigma (ΔΣ) A/D converter has a maximum effective resolution of 23.6 bits, enabling this single chip to deliver analog functionality that was previously only possible when using an MCU in combination with a dedicated A/D converter or a high-precision op-amp IC. These devices are already used in a variety of industrial meter applications, such as temperature controllers, load cells, and strain gauge sensor modules.

Typically, evaluating analog characteristics with high precision requires strong analog design and development expertise, said Renesas, and identifying and analyzing problems when the desired characteristics cannot be obtained is time-consuming.

Renesas developed the starter kit to fix some of these challenges. The RX23E-A RSSK solution kit provides the hardware, software, and tools optimized for evaluating the MCU’s high-precision 24-bit ΔΣ A/D converter without requiring users to have AFE development expertise to accurately evaluate analog characteristics to the nanovolt (nV) level, said Renesas.

Allowing users to check characteristics of the A/D converter with high accuracy, the RSKK evaluation board comes equipped with a plug-in terminal block to connect a variety of sensors without soldering, a thermocouple (temperature sensor) connector, and the reference junction compensation circuit required for thermocouple measurement applications.

“By referencing thermocouple and weight measurement application software (both available for download on the Renesas website), users can immediately start their evaluation, thereby shortening the time needed to develop IoT sensor devices,” said Renesas.


Figure. Renesas Solution Starter Kit (RSSK) board for RX23E-A MCU. (Source: Renesas)

Renesas said that users can enter and change settings for a variety of AFE and A/D converter parameters, as well as display graphs and histograms of A/D conversion results, which simplifies the task of evaluating characteristics matched to the user’s system. With the GUI, users can check A/D conversion results in real time, similar to using an oscilloscope.

The evaluation board can also be connected to an emulator. Power is supplied via the USB connection, so both evaluation and software development can be done via a PC. Driver ICs for RS485 and CAN, which are widely used in industrial devices, are also mounted on the evaluation board, allowing the development of applications with industrial networking standards support.

Available now, the RX23E-A RSSK is priced at $464 per unit (pricing and availability are subject to change without notice).

>> An earlier version of this article was originally published on our sister site, Electronic Products.

 

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