Renesas Adds Bluetooth 5.0 to MCU Family for IoT Devices Powered by Energy Harvesting

Article By : Renesas Electronics

Renesas Electronics' RE01B MCU simplifies software updates and data transfers for IoT devices powered by energy harvesting.

Renesas Electronics Corp. has expanding its RE Family of 32-bit ultra-low power consumption MCUs with the launch of the RE01B microcontroller (MCU) with Bluetooth 5.0 support.

Developed using Renesas’ SOTB (Silicon on Thin Buried Oxide) process technology, the new Bluetooth-capable RE01B MCU is ideal for energy harvesting systems and intelligent IoT devices that need to operate constantly at extremely low power levels without the need to replace or recharge batteries. The RE01B MCU makes it easier to implement regular data management and firmware updates over Bluetooth while maintaining ultra-low power consumption, and extending the battery life.

Applications include compact healthcare devices such as pulse oximeters and biomedical sensor patches; remote controls with voice recognition capabilities and smart meter modules. In addition, the RE01B is well suited for IoT devices that require constant operation, period data collection and updates, such as devices for monitoring the elderly, children or assets in transit.

“Managing battery maintenance and replacement is one crucial hurdle ahead of the widespread adoption of ultra-low-power IoT devices that are expected to run for long periods with limited or no maintenance,” said Shigeki Kato, Vice President of the Enterprise Infrastructure Business Division at Renesas. “I am excited that the addition of the new Bluetooth-capable RE MCU will remove the needs for battery maintenance in a broader range of systems, and meet the needs of IoT system manufacturers.”

Built around the Arm Cortex-M0+ core, the RE01B based on Renesas’ proprietary SOTB process technology operates at a maximum operating frequency of 64MHz and achieves current consumption as low as 35µA/MHz during operation and 600nA during standby, among the lowest in the industry for a Bluetooth-capable MCU. In addition, the RE01B can be combined with Renesas’ ISL9123 ultra-low Iq DC/DC converter, configured as an external step-down regulator, to reduce current consumption during operation down to 15 µA/MHz for even better power efficiency.

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