Renesas brings 40nm Flash technology to automotive microcontroller line

March 05, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Renesas brings 40nm Flash technology to automotive microcontroller line
Renesas Electronics has introduced its new RH850 family of 32-bit MCUs for automotive applications. The RH850 is based on 40 nanometer MONOS (metal oxide nitride oxide silicon) embedded flash technology, making Renesas the first semiconductor supplier to provide this technology in the automotive sector. The 32-bit core combines high number crunching power with extremely low power consumption.

The rising number of embedded control units has dramatically increased power consumption in cars. For this reason, low power consumption has become an issue for automotive designers, explained Michael Hannawald, Head of Marketing in Renesas Europe's, Automotive Business Unit. "In many tender processes, low power consumption is one of the most important criteria."

The RH850 family is the latest in a row of commonly developed product generations, following the merger of Renesas Technology and NEC Electronics back in April 2010, The RH850/X1 addresses all major trends of the changing automotive market across all car segments. These include functional safety requirements up to ASIL D level - which includes error correction code memory -, integration of security functions and low power consumption, in order to support environmental considerations such as CO2 reduction.

The RH850 family covers performance classes from 64 MHz up to 320 MHz as single core performance. Multi-core systems will achieve even higher overall performance. The embedded flash memory will range from 256 KB to 8 MB, while additional blocks for data flash, emulating EEPROM functionality, are also included and deliver write/erase endurance values of more than 125 K write/erase cycles at data retention times of minimum 20 years.

The RH850 is a generic platform; the roll-out of RH850-based products will involve multiple application-tailored devices line-ups, each equipped with the RH850 32-bit core architecture. The series will span single-core, dual-performance cores, dual lock-step cores and multiple-core architectures, addressing virtually all 32-bit MCU performance and safety requirements in the various automotive segments. Combined with scalable functional IP blocks, memory and pin counts, Renesas' series concept allows customers to select the most appropriate product for their needs, safe in the knowledge that they have the flexibility to up- or down-scale without changing the application software.

To ensure software compatibility for customers, all product series are based on the same platform development concept, re-using the same IPs across the entire RH850/X1 generation.

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