MCUs target secure IoT endpoint and edge designs

Renesas Electronics Corp. launched its Renesas Advanced (RA) family of 32-bit Arm Cortex-M microcontrollers (MCUs), aimed at IoT application development. The new RA MCUs offer advanced security, optimized connectivity, peripheral IP, and an easy-to-use flexible software package (FSP) for embedded solutions. In support of the new line is a partnership ecosystem that offers software and hardware building blocks that work with the RA MCUs.

The RA MCUs are designed to help engineers develop IoT endpoint and edge devices for industrial and building automation, metering, healthcare, and home appliance applications. The RA Family is PSA Certified Level 1 and includes the RA2 Series (up to 60 MHz), RA4 Series (up to 100 MHz), RA6 Series (up to 200 MHz), and the dual-core RA8 Series, to be released later.

The first five RA MCU groups available are comprised of 32 scalable MCUs with Arm Cortex-M4 and Cortex-M23 processor cores. Key features include pin counts of 32-pins to 176-pins, 256 KB to 2 MB of code flash memory, 32 KB to 640 KB SRAM, and connectivity such as USB, CAN and Ethernet. Thanks to the feature and pin capability, engineers can easily transition within the RA family, said Renesas.

The RA MCUs include hardware-based security. Features include Renesas’ Secure Crypto Engine IP with NIST CAVP certifications, Arm TrustZone for Armv8-M, and tamper detection. They also offer enhanced features including Renesas’ HMI capacitive touch technology.

Engineers can start development with the FSP using Amazon FreeRTOS, ThreadX, or other RTOS and middleware solutions. (ThreadX RTOS and middleware will be available by early 2020.) The open architecture allows customers to re-use their legacy code and combine it with software examples from Renesas and ecosystem partners to speed implementation of complex functions like connectivity and security, said Renesas.

Renesas expects to roll out additional MCUs in 2020 with more advanced features. The roadmap includes PSA Certified and Trusted Firmware-M (TF-M) API compliant devices, including Cortex-M33 MCUs, low-power Cortex-M23 MCUs, and BLE/IEEE 802.15.4 wireless IoT products.

The first five RA MCU Groups are available now from Renesas’ distributors with prices ranging from $2.50 to $7.00 in quantities of 10,000. The development environment includes on-chip debug, IDEs, compiler, support tools, board evaluation kits, design files, schematics, PCB layouts, and BOM.

>> This article was originally published on our sister site, Electronic Products: “MCUs deliver advanced security for IoT applications.”

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