Evaluation board speeds IoT sensor development

Renesas unveils evaluation boards for IoT sensor development
Renesas Electronics Corp. has an evaluation board for developers working with the 32-bit RX23E-A microcontroller (MCU) to do IoT development. (Renesas)

Renesas Electronics Corp. has introduced a new Renesas Solution Starter Kit (RSSK) for developers working with the 32-bit RX23E-A microcontroller (MCU). The RX23E-A RSSK brings together hardware, software, and tools optimized for evaluating the MCU’s high-precision 24-bit delta-sigma (ΔΣ) A/D converter with high accuracy. The RSSK enables users without any AFE development expertise to accurately evaluate analog characteristics to the nanovolt (nV) level, reducing development workload and time-to-market.

“The RX23E-A for industrial IoT sensors is a single-chip device incorporating one of the industry’s most highly accurate AFEs, featuring less than 0.1 percent precision without calibration,” said Daryl Khoo, Vice President of Marketing, IoT Platform Business Division at Renesas, in a statement. “The new solution kit provides a shortcut for customers interested in evaluating and calibrating various sensor types to shorten the time required to develop more highly accurate sensing equipment.”

Designed to optimize evaluation of the RX23E-A AFE, the new RSSK evaluation board allows users to check characteristics of the 24-bit ΔΣ A/D converter with high accuracy, regardless of analog development expertise levels. The evaluation board has a plug-in terminal block to connect various sensors without soldering, a thermocouple (temperature sensor) connector, and the reference junction compensation circuit required for thermocouple measurement applications.

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With the kit’s graphical user interface (GUI) tool, users can enter and change settings for various AFE and A/D converter parameters, as well as display graphs and histograms of A/D conversion results. This simplifies the task of evaluating characteristics matched to the user’s system. With the GUI, users can check A/D conversion results in real-time in the same manner as using an oscilloscope.

The evaluation board can also be connected to an emulator to develop user applications. Power is supplied via the USB connection, so both evaluation and software development can be accomplished using a PC. Driver ICs for RS485 and CAN, which are widely used in industrial devices, are also mounted on the evaluation board, allowing the development of applications with industrial networking standards support.

The RX23E-A Group of 32-bit MCUs with DSP/FPU support operate at 32 MHz and feature an AFE that achieves better than 0.1 percent measurement precision without calibration. The integrated ΔΣ A/D converter has a maximum effective resolution of 23.6 bits, enabling this single chip to deliver analog functionality that was previously only possible when using an MCU in combination with a dedicated A/D converter or a high-precision op-amp IC.

The RX23E-A RSSK is available now, priced at $464 USD per unit.

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