Renesas Targets Analog Digitalization with the New RA2A2 and Its 24-Bit Sigma-Delta ADC

New chip family, built around an Arm Cortex-M23 core, also includes dual-bank flash memory for safer over-the-air firmware updates.

Microcontroller giant Renesas has announced a new Arm Cortex-M23 based range, the RA2A2 — offering a 24-bit sigma-delta analog-to-digital converter (SDADC) and a dual-bank flash system which allows for safer over-the-air (OTA) updates.

"Renesas has worked closely with our customers to understand their requirements for next-generation systems that can support critical energy conservation goals," claims Renesas' Akihiro Kuroda of the company's latest microcontroller range. "The RA2A2 Group MCUs [Microcontroller Units] are the result of that collaboration coupled with our world-leading technical expertise. We are proud to provide this solution that will enable significant energy savings in a wide array of systems."

The RA2A2 microcontrollers are based around an Arm Cortex-M23 core running at up to 48MHz, with a claimed power draw at 100µA/MHz in active use and 0.4µA in software standby. They offer 48kB of static RAM (SRAM), 8kB of data flash memory, and 512kB of program flash memory — and it's here the first significant new features can be found. The flash memory is dual-banked with a bank-swap function, making it easier to implement safe over-the-air (OTA) updates by modifying one of the two banks and only switching to the new firmware once the update has been verified.

The other major new feature in the chips is a 24-bit sigma-delta analog-to-digital converter (SDADC) with digital filter, which sits alongside a more traditional 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and an integrated temperature sensor. Combined, Renesas says, the features of the new chips are ideal for the digitalization of existing analog systems — and hardware AES cryptography acceleration means data can be kept safe in transit too.

More information on the R2A2 family, which is available in 100-, 80-, and 64-pin low-profile quad flat package (LFQFP) formats, is available on the Renesas website; units are available to order direct from Renesas starting at $8.99 per chip.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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