Designed to connect to multiple sensors, Renesas Electronics' small-package, low-power RL78/G11 microcontrollers allow users to prototype and develop systems that support low-power sensor hubs and sensor application systems.

The compact sensor hubs, which convert the sensor output signals to digital data, are used in a wide range of applications, such as computer operating environment monitoring for data centre thermocouples in the industrial area, wearable health management devices in the healthcare field and environmental sensing in greenhouses and factory farms in the agricultural industry.

The RL78/G11 MCUs were developed to address not only miniaturisation, lower power and extended battery life in sensor hub and sensor application systems, but also the need for reduced user prototyping and development periods.

The 24- and 25-pin versions of these new MCUs support 11 analog input channels and six serial communications channels. Even with the 24-pin compact package, the RL78/G11 MCUs can support signal inputs from a maximum of 13 sensors. The MCUs also support battery voltage measurement and sensing referenced to an internal fixed voltage that operates from a 1.8V power supply.

The RL78/G11 Group concept is based on small packages from 20 to 25 pins, with small 16KB flash memory and rich analogue peripherals such as A/D converters, D/A converters, comparators and PGA. These are configurable, such as PGA+ADC+VBGR, PGA+CMP, CMP+DAC/VBGR or PGA+CMP+DAC/VBGR. It also supports very low power operaton (100µA @ 1MHz) and a high speed 4µs wake up. Available in small 3mm x 3 mm WFLGA, 4mm x 4 mm HWQFN and standard 20-pin LSSOP, the MCUs are suitable for sensor applications, lighting/power sources and various small appliances.

Samples of the RL78/G11 will be available from October 2016 onwards. Mass production is scheduled to begin in December 2016 and is expected to reach a volume of 500,000 units per month by 2018. Renesas plans to provide evaluation boards, development tools, and software for these products.