Low-power general-purpose 16-bit MCUs

April 13, 2021 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Low-power general-purpose 16-bit MCUs
Offering improved power consumption, expanded peripheral functions and enhanced security, the MCUs are optimized for IoT end point applications.

Renesas Electronics Corporation is beginning of mass production of its 16-bit general-purpose RL78/G23 microcontroller (MCU), further strengthening its RL78 family of 8-bit and 16-bit MCUs for a broad range of applications. Compatible with its current general-purpose RL78 MCUs, such as the RL78/G13, the RL78/G23 increased the on-chip flash memory capacity to 768 KB and substantially expanded on-chip peripheral functions, which extend functionality while reducing the bill of materials (BOM) cost, while improving power consumption required by battery powered applications. With this feature combination, the new RL78/G23 is well suited for a wide range of applications that require both power and cost efficiency, including IoT endpoint devices such as home electronics, remote controls, and sensors.

“It has been 10 years since we first introduced the RL78 family, and Renesas has continued its technology innovation drive as seen with the new RL78/G23, which delivers lower power consumption with a new process technology,” said Noriaki Nakanishi, Vice President of the MCU Device Solution Business Division at Renesas.

By adopting a new process, the RL78/G23 realizes 44 µA/MHz at CPU operation and 210 nA during STOP (with 4KB of SRAM retention), an even lower power consumption compared to current RL78 MCUs. In addition, the newly implemented SNOOZE mode sequencer (SMS) makes it unnecessary to activate the CPU while any peripheral operations are operating in snooze mode, dramatically reducing power consumption for applications that utilize intermittent operation. Furthermore, the logic and event link controller (ELCL) adds logic functionality to the capabilities of a conventional event link controller (ELC). This makes it possible to create conditional links to multiple events while continuing to benefit from the reduced power consumption realized by the ELC.

The RL78/G23 features a Renesas-exclusive capacitive touch sensor unit that combines superior high-sensitivity and low-noise characteristics and can be used to implement a contactless gesture-based user interface (UI). The MCUs also incorporate enhanced security functions that make it possible to develop truly secure


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