Renesas’ RA6M4 is ideal for IoT applications requiring Ethernet, large embedded RAM, and low active power consumption

Renesas’ RA6M4 is ideal for IoT applications requiring Ethernet, large embedded RAM, and low active power consumption

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Are you on the market for a good compromise between high performance and low power, while having some key security features and a rich set of peripherals to empower your IoT applications? If you are, then the Renesas RA6M4 family of microcontrollers might be ideal for you!

The RA6M4 series of microcontrollers have the high-performance ARM Cortex-M33 core and offer an enhanced integrated Security Crypto Engine, providing multiple cryptographic accelerators, key management support, tamper detection, among other things, enabled by the ARM TrustZone technology, making it a viable choice in connected applications, where security is a concern. Their focus with this series is to integrate awesome security features directly into the microcontrollers to obtain better performance, lower power consumption, extra robustness and flexibility, and cost-effectiveness on security solutions for IoT devices. As security threats are always evolving, their intention to make the MCU family future-proof goes as far as offering easy and flexible upgrades for the security features and unlimited space for key storage.

But this MCU is not just about security, as you can tell by some of its key specifications:

  • ARM Cortex-M33 with TrustZone, clocked at 200 MHz or 120 MHz
  • Memories: 512 kB – 1 MB Flash and 256 kBRAM
  • High performance and low power with active low power consumption down to 99 uA / Hz
  • Interfaces: Ethernet MAC controller with individual DMA, USB 2.0 full speed, CAN 2.0B, SCI (UART, Simple SPI, Simple I2C), Quad and Octa SPI, SPI / I2C multi-master interface, SDHI, MMC
  • Capacitive touch sensing unit
  • Range of packages from 64-pin to 144-pin
Block diagram for the Renesas' RA6M4 family of MCU's
Block diagram for the Renesas’ RA6M4 family of MCU’s

Besides the aforementioned hardware features, the MCU family is supported by an “open and flexible ecosystem concept”, the FSP (Flexible Software Package) which is built over FreeRTOS, but it is expandable so that you can use it with other middleware and RTOS.

Regarding applications, its security features, large embedded RAM and high Ethernet throughput capability make this family of MCU’s a great candidate for wired Ethernet applications. Besides that, the security it can provide also enables other projects where it is a concern, such as fire and burglar alarms and others, such as HVAC applications, door openers, or metering. Its high-performance capabilities also enable you to perform more demanding tasks, such as robotics, or even as a general-purpose MCU, due to its rich set of peripherals.

Lastly, let us discuss pricing: we are looking at $12.02 for a RA6M4 MCU, which may be a bit salty for general purpose projects, comparing to other manufacturers, you definitely will have cheaper options, but it also depends on the features you must have on your projects. An evaluation kit comes at $175.50.

Renesas RA6M4 MCU on Digikey: https://www.digikey.com/en/products/detail/renesas-electronics-america/R7FA6M4AF3CFM-AA0/13160536

Renesas RA6M4 evaluation kit on Digikey: https://www.digikey.com/en/products/detail/renesas-electronics-america/RTK7EKA6M4S00001BE/13160535

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