New Microcontroller from Renesas with Integrated Bluetooth 5.0 for IoT Edge Devices and Networks

Renesas' RA4W1 Microcontroller

Renesas Electronics Corporation has come up with an RA microcontroller (MCU) with an integrated Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy radio. Named RA4W1, it is a single-chip MCU that includes a 48 MHz, 32-bit Arm Cortex-M4 core, and Bluetooth 5.0 core in a 56-pin QFN package. The RA4W1 MCU and Flexible Software Package (FSP) enable engineers to initiate the development process and work with Arm ecosystem software and hardware building blocks with ease. The MCU also helps engineers in developing IoT edge devices for wireless sensor networks, IoT hubs, an add-on to gateways, and an aggregator to IoT cloud applications.


With RA4W1 MCU, it becomes easy for embedded designers to develop safe and secure IoT endpoint devices for Industry 4.0, building automation, metering, healthcare, consumer wearable, and home appliance applications.


Features like Secure Crypto Engine can help customers in implementing strong key management for the ultimate IoT security, superb output power consumption, and sensitivity. This will help them in achieving a superior link budget for longer-range applications.


Features of RA4W1 MCU

1. Arm Cortex M4 core and Bluetooth 5.0 core housed in 7mm x 7mm 56-pin QFN: It features field upgradeable 512 KB flash memory, 96 KB SRAM, and USB, CAN connectivity as well as Renesas’ popular HMI capacitive touch technology. It also includes Renesas’ Secure Crypto Engine supporting customers with symmetric encryption and decryption, hash functions; true random number generation (TRNG), and advanced key handling with key generation and MCU-unique key wrapping.


2. Full Bluetooth 5.0 support: It comes with a full Bluetooth 5.0 support feature with the best power consumption and sensitivity for superior reception. It includes full Bluetooth 5.0 functions such as 2 Mbps data throughput, all advertising extension functions with maximum advertising length (1650 Byte), periodic advertisements, and channel selection algorithm #2 for applications requiring large amounts of traffic. Besides, it also offers superior low peak power consumption at 3.3mA during receiving and 4.5mA (@0dBm) during transmission. Also, an industry-best sensitivity of -105dBm in 125kbps mode is achieved without additional loss from external components.


3. Basic protocol stack package and all standard profiles: It provides several API functions that conform to all standard profiles like Heart Rate Profile (HRP), an Environment Sensing Profile (ESP), and an Automation I/O profile (AIOP). These functions allow users to quickly start and speed up prototype development and evaluation.


4. Innovative development environment: It allows simultaneous development of communication control and system control. Renesas’ Smart Configurator GUI generates Bluetooth code and MCU peripheral function driver code as well as pin settings for the e2 Studio integrated development environment (IDE). The Renesas QE tool for BLE generates programs for custom profiles and embeds them in user application programs to support application program development. The Bluetooth Trial Tool Suite GUI enables users to perform initial wireless characteristics evaluations and Bluetooth functional verification. Users can typically have the RA4W1 evaluation board up and running with the downloadable smartphone applications demo in less than 30 minutes.


5. Reduced BOM through integration: The high-precision, low-speed on-chip oscillator, and also integrates an RF oscillator adjustment circuit and on-chip matching circuit allow easy antenna connection. This high-level of integration reduces both BOM (bills of materials) costs and circuit board area, resulting in lower IoT equipment manufacturing costs.


6. The Flexible Software Package’s (FSP) open architecture: It allows customers to re-use their legacy code and combine it with software examples from Renesas and ecosystem partners. The FSP for RA Family MCUs help in speeding the implementation of complex functions like connectivity and security. It features FreeRTOS and middleware offering a premium device-to-cloud option for developers. These options can be easily replaced and expanded with any other RTOS or middleware.


The RA4W1 is available from Renesas Electronics’ worldwide distributors and is priced at USD 3.98 in 10,000-unit quantities. 

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