Renesas Unveils RA MCU family based on Arm Cortex-M

October 22, 2019 Rich Nass

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.

About the Author

Rich Nass

Richard Nass is the Executive Vice-President of OpenSystems Media. His key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OpenSystems Media’s Embedded and IoT product portfolios, including web sites, e-newsletters, print and digital magazines, and various other digital and print activities. He was instrumental in developing the company's on-line educational portal, Embedded University. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for UBM’s award-winning Design News property. Prior to that, he led the content team for UBM Canon’s Medical Devices Group, as well all custom properties and events in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 25 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times, handling the Embedded and Custom groups and the TechOnline DesignLine network of design engineering web sites. Nass holds a BSEE degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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