Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today unveiled an innovative energy-harvesting embedded controller that can eliminate the need to use or replace batteries in IoT devices. Developed based on Renesas' breakthrough SOTB™ (silicon-on-thin-buried-oxide) process technology, the new embedded controller achieves extreme reduction in both active and standby current consumption, a combination that was not previously possible to achieve in conventional microcontrollers (MCUs). These extreme low current levels of the SOTB-based embedded controller enables system manufacturers to take a step further and completely eliminate the need for batteries in some of their products through harvesting ambient energy sources such as light, vibration, and flow. The use of extreme low-power and energy harvesting gives rise to a new market of maintenance-free connected IoT sensing devices with endpoint intelligence for applications in industrial, business, residential, agricultural, healthcare, and public infrastructure, as well as health and fitness apparel, shoes, wearables, smart watches, and drones. Renesas has already begun supplying the new embedded controller to beta customer.
Renesas’ first commercial product using SOTB technology, the R7F0E embedded controller, is a 32-bit, Arm® Cortex®-based embedded controller capable of operating up to 64 MHz for rapid local processing of sensor data and execution of complex analysis and control functions. Consuming just 20 μA/MHz active current, and only 150 nA deep standby current, approximately one-tenth that of conventional low-power MCUs, these industry-leading characteristics make the R7F0E perfectly suited for extreme low-power and energy harvesting.