Renesas Electronics Announces World’s First Sub-Gigahertz Band Wireless Solutions for CTBU Compliant with Wi-SUN Standard for Home Networks Supporting Smart Meters and HEMS Devices

Global Wireless News
Friday, November 20, 2015
Santa Clara, CA
Renesas Electronics Announces World’s First Sub-Gigahertz Band Wireless Solutions for CTBU Compliant with Wi-SUN Standard for Home Networks Supporting Smart Meters and HEMS Devices

by Jessica Kerr

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the release of two new sub-gigahertz band wireless communication solutions for devices supporting Wi-SUN, which are the world’s first containing automatic dual-address filtering function that will help reduce the time required to develop home energy management systems (HEMS), smart meters, and other devices.

The core of these solutions is the RAA604S00 wireless communications System on Chip (SoC), which combines support for communication with smart meters essential to HEMS devices and support for communication with other home devices in a single chip. The first Wi-SUN wireless solution pairs the RAA604S00 wireless communications SoC with the highly-efficient RX63N 32-bit microcontroller (MCU). The second Wi-SUN wireless solution combines the RAA604S00 SoC with the low-power RL78/G1H 16-bit MCU.

In addition, a development environment is available consisting of an evaluation board supplied by Tessera Technology Inc. and Renesas’ communication control software. The combination of the evaluation board mounted with the RX63N MCU and the communication control software is the world’s first to quality as a Home Area Network (HAN) certification CTBU (Certified Test Bed Unit) (Note 1) as defined by the Wi-SUN Alliance (Note 2). These solutions enable system manufactures to ensure interconnectivity with all third-party devices. They enable system manufacturers to develop HEMS products that comply with the Wi-SUN standard quickly and reliably.

The new RAA604S00 Wi-SUN-compliant wireless communications SoC and the RL78/G1H Wi-SUN-compliant MCU with integrated RAA604S00 both support sub-gigahertz band wireless communication in regions utilizing different frequency bands, such as Europe, North America, and ASEAN countries simply by changing settings in the wireless communication block.

Key features of the Sub-Gigahertz Band Wireless solutions:

(1) Renesas’ wireless solutions are the world’s first to be adopted in a HAN certified standard device under the Wi-SUN standard

An evaluation board mounted with the RAA604S00 Wi-SUN-compliant wireless communications SoC and RX63N MCU, along with communication control software, have been adopted as a standard device for testing HAN certification interconnectivity under the Wi-SUN standard. The solution makes it possible to ensure interconnectivity with all third-party devices. This simplifies the process of certifying user goods and helps to shorten the development time.

(2) World’s first with dual-address filtering function, contributing to shorter development time and more stable communication

The RAA604S00 Wi-SUN-compliant wireless communications SoC integrates in a single chip functionality for automatically filtering two communication addresses, making use of software for filtering processing unnecessary and thereby shortening development time. Filtering can be accomplished without delay even in crowded communication environments of the future where the number of sub-gigahertz band wireless communication devices has increased, preventing system instability. The chip also uses low power, with a receive current during Wi-SUN communication of 6.1 mA and a receive standby current of 5.8 mA (typ. Vcc = 3.3 V). This helps extend battery life and allows the use of more compact batteries in battery-powered devices.

(3) Provides two solutions: One comprising the Wi-SUN communications SoC paired with the RX63N 32-bit MCU and the other comprising the RL78/G1H with on-chip Wi-SUN

Renesas offers two new solutions: A high-performance solution that pairs the RAA604S00 Wi-SUN-compliant wireless communication LSI with the RX63N 32-bit MCU, and another solution that comprises the RL78/G1H power-efficient 16-bit MCU with Wi-SUN communications functionality. The solution that combines the RAA604S00 with the RX63N MCU has received profile certification for both HAN (home networks) and for communication between HEMS controllers and smart meters under the Wi-SUN for Echonet Lite Profile (Note 3), an international wireless communication standard established by the Wi-SUN Alliance. Since the solution implements the PHY, MAC, and network (6LoWPAN, IPv6) layers, as well as security verification (PANA), these solutions make it possible to quickly realize a system that supports ECHONET Lite. In addition, the solution adopting the RL78/G1H will be certified in January 2016. As a development environment Tessera Technology Inc. is supplying an evaluation board mounted with the RX63N 32-bit MCU and with the RAA604S00 wireless communications SoC connected externally, as well as an evaluation board mounted with the RL78/G1H 16-bit MCU. Renesas is supplying communication software for these evaluation boards to help reduce the time required for certification and development.

In addition to the new sub-gigahertz band wireless communication solutions introduced above, Renesas is working to expand its lineup of short-range wireless communication solutions with support for technologies such as Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE). Renesas is also actively involved in the field of power line communication (PLC) for power meters and HEMS devices.

Pricing and Availability

Samples of the RAA604S00 Wi-SUN-compliant wireless communications SoC and the RL78/G1H Wi-SUN-compliant energy-efficient 16-bit MCU are now available. The RAA604S00 Wi-SUN-compliant wireless communications SoC is priced at US$2.50 per unit and the RL78/G1H Wi-SUN-compliant energy-efficient 16-bit MCU at US$6.00 per unit. Mass production is scheduled to begin in January 2016 and mass production of the RL78/G1H Wi-SUN-compliant energy-efficient 16-bit MCU is scheduled to begin in April 2016.

The RX63N MCU is also now available, and Tessera Technology Inc. has released an evaluation board based on it as a development environment. Renesas has released a trial version of the communication software, and the official version is scheduled to be available in December 2015. (Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.)

Refer to the separate sheet for the main specifications of the RAA604S00 Wi-SUN-compliant wireless communications SoC and the RL78/G1H Wi-SUN-compliant energy-efficient 16-bit MCU.

(Note 1) A HAN CTBU is a device certified by the Wi-SUN Alliance for use in interconnection testing. In other words, all manufacturers wishing to provide compliance with the Wi-SUN certification standard must test their devices with the Renesas wireless solution.

(Note 2) The Wi-SUN Alliance is an international industry group tasked with formulating a wireless communication standard for the sub-gigahertz band (the 920 MHz band in Japan). The physical layer (PHY layer) of the standard provides interconnectivity based on the IEEE 802.15.4g standard. It is achieving widespread adoption as a way to implement communication in so-called “smart houses” equipped with smart meters and home energy management systems (HEMS).

(Note 3) Wi-SUN Profile for ECHONET Lite is a wireless communication standard for ECHONET Lite that was formulated by the Wi-SUN Alliance based on the IEEE 802.15.4g standard.

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), the world’s number one supplier of microcontrollers, is a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions including microcontrollers, SoC solutions and a broad-range of analog and power devices. Business operations began as Renesas Electronics in April 2010 through the integration of NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723) and Renesas Technology Corp., with operations spanning research, development, design and manufacturing for a wide range of applications. Headquartered in Japan, Renesas Electronics has subsidiaries in 20 countries worldwide. More information can be found atwww.renesas.com.