New Bluetooth 5.0 Ultra-Low-Power Microcontroller Simplifies Software Updates and Data Transfers in Energy Harvesting systems and IoT devices

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ByRajni Setia 0

Renesas' RE01B Microcontroller

Expanding its RE Family of 32-bit ultra-low-power consumption MCUs, Renesas has introduced a new microcontroller, RE01B with Bluetooth 5.0 support. Developed using Renesas’ breakthrough SOTB (Silicon on Thin Buried Oxide) process technology, this new device is ideal 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.

The RE01B microcontroller makes it easier for the users to implement regular data management and firmware updates over Bluetooth while ensuring ultra-low power consumption, and extending the battery life too. The device is built around the Arm Cortex-M0+ core, operates at a maximum operating frequency of 64 MHz, and achieves current consumption as low as 35 µA/MHz during operation and 600 nA during standby.

Moreover, the RE01B microcontroller 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 15 µA/MHz for even better power efficiency. This device can be used in small-sized healthcare devices like pulse oximeters and biomedical sensor patches; remote controls with voice recognition capabilities and smart meter modules. Besides, the device can be used in IoT devices that require constant operation, period data collection, and updates, such as devices for monitoring the elderly, children, or assets in transit.

As put in by Shigeki Kato, Vice President of the Enterprise Infrastructure Business Division of the company, the new Bluetooth-capable RE MCU will remove the need for battery maintenance in a broader range of systems, and meet the needs of IoT system manufacturers.

Features of RE01B Microcontroller

  • Arm Cortex-M0+ core with a maximum operating frequency of 64 MHz
  • Support for Bluetooth 5.0 Long Range (up to 400 m) and high data throughput (2 Mbps)
  • Ultra-low current consumption of 35 µA/MHz (using internal LDO) or 15 µA/MHz (using DC/DC converter) during operation and 600 nA (core: 500 nA, Bluetooth: 100 nA) during standby
  • Superior peak current of 3.0 mA (1Mbps) during Bluetooth reception and 4.3 mA during transmission (0 dBm, 1Mbps)
  • 1.5 MB flash memory and 256 KB SRAM with Bluetooth functionality, suitable for over-the-air (OTA) firmware updating
  • Operating voltage range: 1.62 V to 3.6 V with the high-speed operation of up to 64 MHz across all operating frequency range
  • 64-pin QFN package measuring 8 mm x 8 mm
  • On-chip 14-bit A/D converter with an ultralow-power consumption of approximately 4 µA
  • Ability to program flash memory with a current of approximately 0.6 mA
  • Robust security functions using Trusted Secure IP

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