Renesas Launches RE Family – Energy Harvesting Embedded Controllers

Renesas RE Family energy harvesting
Image: Renesas Electronics

Renesas Electronics, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, introduced its RE Family, which encompasses the company’s current and future lineup of energy harvesting embedded controllers.

Most low-power electronics, such as sensors and wearable devices, are powered by batteries. However, these batteries have a limited lifespan and need regular recharging. That’s why wearable device manufacturers are now turning to energy harvesting technology, which provide unlimited operating life of these devices and remove the need to replace batteries where it is costly, impractical, or dangerous.

Read more Researchers Develop Stretchable Thermoelectric Coils for Energy Harvesting in Flexible Wearable Devices

“Energy harvesting eliminates the labor and costs associated with battery maintenance and is a key solution contributing to environmental conservation,” said Hiroto Nitta, Senior Vice President, Head of SoC Business, IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit at Renesas. “I am extremely pleased that Renesas’ technology innovation with SOTB has enabled these alternative energy solutions, and with the new RE01 Evaluation Kit, Renesas will be making it possible for engineers around the world to quickly start the evaluation. We hope this will accelerate the spread of IoT equipment powered by energy harvesting.”

The RE Family is based on Renesas’ proprietary SOTB™ (Silicon on Thin Buried Oxide) process technology, which dramatically reduces power consumption in both the active and standby states, eliminating the need for battery replacement or recharging, reports Business Wire.

Microchip
Image: Renesas Electronics (Twitter)

The new RE01 Evaluation Kit includes an evaluation board which features an RE01 embedded controller, an interface for the energy harvesting device and a rechargeable battery interface. The Kit also includes an Arduino-compatible interface for easy expansion and evaluation of sensor boards and a Pmod™ connector to expand and evaluate wireless functionality. In addition, there is an ultra-low power MIP LCD expansion board so that users can evaluate display functions faster.

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The Kit also contains sample code and application notes that serve as references for power management design that eliminates the need for battery maintenance, and driver software that supports CMSIS, Arm®’s Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard. Sample code for ultra-low power A/D converters, digital filter and Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) routines, 2D graphics MIP LCD displays, and secure boot and secure firmware update functions for improved security are available. With these features, this kit makes it possible to adopt energy harvesting based on RE01 Group devices at the system level and will accelerate the development of equipment that does not require battery maintenance.

Pricing and Availability

The RE01 Evaluation Kit is available now with a reference price of USD 344 per unit (excluding tax).