Renesas Electronics recently unveiled its RA family of microcontrollers (MCUs) based on the 32-bit Arm Cortex-M processor core. The company claims that the RA offers a generous ecosystem, enabling developers in terms of performance, security, connectivity, HMI, and peripheral IP. In most cases, the goal is to develop end products aimed at IoT endpoints and Edge devices for industrial and building automation, metering, healthcare, and home appliance applications.
The RA family is PSA Certified Level 1 and includes the RA2 series (operating at up to 60 MHz), the RA4 series (up to 100 MHz), the RA6 series (up to 200 MHz), and the still-to-come dual-core RA8 series.
The first five RA MCU Groups available today are comprised of 32 scalable MCUs with Arm Cortex-M4 and Cortex-M23 processor cores. They feature pin counts of 32 to 176 pins, along with 256 kbytes to 2 Mbytes of code flash memory, 32 to 640 kbytes of SRAM, and connectivity that includes USB, CAN, and Ethernet. The feature and pin compatibility makes it easy to move up or down within the family for higher performance.
The RA family of processors offer an open architecture that lets developers re-use their legacy code and combine it with software examples from Renesas and ecosystem partners to hasten implementation of complex functions like connectivity and security. Hardware-based security features range from simple AES acceleration to fully-integrated crypto subsystems isolated within the MCU.
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