Renesas – Low Power, Advanced Features and Extensive Tools for Automotive



Combining advanced features to deliver low power consumption and high performance, the RL78 Family of MCUs is designed specifically for ultra-low power applications that enable customers to build compact and energy-efficient systems at reduced costs. The RL78 Family includes a number of automotive solutions based on a 16-bit CISC architecture with rich functionalities. The platform lineup features solutions for general-purpose and LCD applications and ASSPs, including lighting and automotive MCUs.

RL78/F1x Series for energy-efficient automotive products
The RL78/F1x MCU Series covers a wide range of low-power automotive applications. The MCUs enable customers to build compact and energy-efficient products, such as switches, remote keyless entry systems, wipers, HVAC, lighting modules, engine subcontrollers, and more.

The series includes an extensive lineup of more than 130 products, with a package featuring pins ranging from 20 to 144 and a flash memory ranging from 8 KBs to 512 KBs. Additionally, the RL78/F1x MCU Series offers a number of key automotive industry-friendly features: scalability, compliance with automotive-grade temperature and safety requirements, and high-temperature ability, as well as reduced power consumption.

The RL78/F1x MCU Series is based on the same CPU core as the RL78/G1 Series and integrates the same peripheral functions and pin layout. These functions include CAN (Controller Area Network) and LIN (Local Interconnect Network) automotive networks.

The extensive range of MCUs also supports a variety of applications and enables customers to build development platforms based on, for example, reusing design assets such as software and printed circuit boards. ROM sizes can be changed to meet varying system specifications.

Compliance for Safety-Critical Applications
As required for MCUs operating in a variety of safety-critical applications such as fuel pumps, chassis systems, and powertrain systems, the RL78 MCUs feature the ability to scale across a wide temperature range, and integrated safety features are a requirement.

Operation in High Temperatures
The RL78/F13 and RL78/F14 MCUs operate in ambient temperatures up to 150°C and can be mounted in actuators for greater system miniaturization. The MCUs also incorporate a variety of hardware features, which support functional safety, including an A/D self-test feature, software stack monitoring, and external oscillator monitoring.

Reduced Power Consumption
The RL78 Family of MCUs uses a lower current consumption process that reduces the standby mode of current consumption by 50% from 1 μA (microampere) of Renesas’ previous generation (78K0R) 16-bit MCUs to 500 nA (nanoampere). These latest MCUs also contribute to lower system power consumption with a unique low-power mode – SNOOZE mode. This makes it possible to scan inputs periodically and only activate the CPU when the module needs to respond, saving an additional 70% current consumption.


For software development, Renesas is engaged with our partners, SimuQuest and IAR Systems, to provide robust tools designed to enhance the application development experience for engineers using RL78 MCUs.

The new QuantiPhiTM Renesas Edition driver generation tool, for example, provides a remarkably easy tool to:

1) Configure the complete MCU registers, peripherals, and general I/O function;
2) Perform automatic self-checks to make sure there are no internal MCU conflicts with any of the settings;
3) Generate production-quality MISRA-compliant C code; and
4) Integrate Simulink block sets for easier model-based development.

Beyond the RL78 Family features of scalability, safety-compliance and reduced power consumption, Renesas Electronics America also provides development hardware and software tools that make it easier for engineers to get an application up and running quickly and cost effectively.

On the hardware side, Renesas has created a fully featured RDK. The RDK includes an RL78 MCU, debug interface, motor control pre-driver extension interface, and standard automotive LIN and CAN communication interfaces.


The RL78 RDK (Part No. YRDKRL78F14) comes complete with an RL78 MCU and several interfaces, including a debugger, a motor control pre-driver extension and standard automotive LIN and CAN communication.