RX140 microcontrollers bring advance touch sensing to home and industry

Renesas Electronics has announced low power RX140 microcontrollers which are claimed to improve noise tolerance and sensing accuracy, with improved performance and power efficiency than the company’s RX130 group of microcontrollers.

The low power, 32bit microcontrollers are the latest addition to the entry-level RX100 Series. They are built around Renesas’ powerful RXv2 CPU core, and operate at up to 48MHz with a CoreMark score of 204, equivalent to approximately twice the processing performance of the RX130 group. The RX140 MCUs also boost power efficiency by over 30 per cent compared with RX130 microcontrollers, achieving power consumption as low as 56 microA/MHz when the CPU is in active mode and as low as 0.25 microA in standby mode. The RX140 microcontrollers can be used in home appliances, industrial and building automation.

The RX140 microcontrollers have capacitive touch sensing units, offering customers an enhanced user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). They also fulfill the IEC EN61000-4-3 level 4 (radiated) and EN61000-4-6 level 3 (conducted) capacitive touch noise tolerance requirements. This proves they are less susceptible to electromagnetic noise, allowing them to detect changes in water level by directly measuring changes in capacitance through high-precision sensing.

Built-in multi-scan functionality and automated sensing enable customers to improve sensitivity through simultaneous measurement using multiple electrodes. This allows for automatic touch detection even in standby mode, for touchless operation or proximity sensing.

The RX140 microcontrollers are part of Renesas’ RX capacitive touch microcontroller offering and are suitable for use in home appliances such as microwave ovens, refrigerators, and induction heat cooking stoves, as well as manufacturing equipment, building control panels, and devices that can detect remaining quantities of water or powder on surfaces.

The RX140 microcontrollers also feature improved peripheral functions. For example, the number of I/O ports has been increased to allow control of more sensors or external components, and CAN communication support for real-time operation has been added. A built-in AES encryption accelerator and true random number generator (TRNG) reduce the risks of security threats such as data leakage or manipulation.

The RX140 microcontrollers maintain pin compatibility with the RX130 for ease of upgrades.

Renesas also introduced the Target Board for RX140, which provides access to all signal pins, for initial evaluation work. The board is equipped with a Pmod connector to allow easy connection of sensor modules. To simplify evaluation of capacitive touch applications even further, Renesas plans to introduce the Capacitive Touch Evaluation System for RX140 (Note 1). Customers can use the RX140 devices with the  e2 studio integrated development environment (IDE), the Smart Configurator code generation support tool, and the QE for Capacitive Touch support tool to shorten development time, reduce the total cost, and improve software quality.

The RX140 group of MCUs is available now in 32- to 64-pin packages with 64kbyte of flash memory. Mass production for additional configurations and memory sizes over 128KB will be available starting in February 2022.


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