Renesas extends Bluetooth 5.0 conectivity to RA family

2 min read

Renesas has introduced an RA microcontroller (MCU) with an integrated Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy radio.

According to the company, the single-chip RA4W1 MCU includes a 48 MHz, 32-bit Arm Cortex-M4 core and Bluetooth 5.0 core delivered in a 56-pin QFN package. Together, the RA4W1 MCU and an easy-to-use Flexible Software Package (FSP), engineers will be able to immediately begin development with Arm ecosystem software and hardware building blocks that work out-of-the-box with RA MCUs.

The RA4W1 MCU has been developed to make it 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. The MCU is also suitable for developing IoT edge devices for wireless sensor networks, IoT hubs, an add-on to gateways, and an aggregator to IoT cloud applications.

“While offering an MCU with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity is not new to Renesas, the addition of the RA4W1 enables our customers to easily adopt Bluetooth 5.0,” said Sakae Ito, Vice President of IoT Platform Business Division at Renesas. “Customers can also take full advantage of the on-chip MCU features, including Secure Crypto Engine to implement strong key management for the ultimate IoT security, and best-in-class output power consumption and sensitivity to achieve a superior link budget for longer range applications.”

Key feature include:

  • Arm Cortex M4 core and Bluetooth 5.0 core housed in 7mm x 7mm 56-pin QFN: The single-chip RA4W1 48 MHz MCU features 512 KB flash memory, 96 KB SRAM, and connectivity such as USB, CAN, and 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.
  • Full Bluetooth 5.0 support with industry best power consumption and sensitivity for superior reception: The RA4W1 MCU 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. The RA4W1 also offers superior low peak power consumption at 3.3mA during receiving and 4.5mA (@0dBm) while transmitting..
  • Basic protocol stack package and all standard profiles:

In addition to the Bluetooth 5.0 basic protocol stack package, Renesas is also providing several API functions that conform to all standard profiles, including a 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.

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. And the Bluetooth Trial Tool Suite GUI allows users to perform initial wireless characteristics evaluations and Bluetooth functional verification.

The Flexible Software Package’s (FSP) open architecture allows customers to re-use their legacy code and combine it with software examples from Renesas and ecosystem partners. It features FreeRTOS and middleware offering a premium device-to-cloud option for developers.