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Category: Development Tools News

Renesas RL78-G14 Microcontroller Demo Kit is a Neat Tool Toy

By Bill Giovino
Jan 16, 2013 - 2:25:42 PM

It's a Demo Kit! It's a Website! It's a cool tool toy disguised as an SDK! Finger Not Included.
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Renesas Electronics (formerly Renesas Technology) has introduced a cool development kit, the Renesas RL78-G14 Demo Kit. It supports stereo audio and has two LCD displays, an accelerometer, temperature sensor, and light sensor. It also boasts an on-board 802.11b WiFi module and can act as a WiFi hotspot or a bridge. Android and iPhone support. Very cool! Tell your boss you need two.

Renesas RL78/G14 Demo Kit with Oliver's Finger
Renesas RL78/G14 Demo Kit with Oliver's Finger
This RDK is an evaluation and demonstration tool for the Renesas RL78 low-power microcontroller. This kit is a very flexible debug and demonstration platform targeted at common (and uncommon) applications. A nice set of human/machine interfaces are tightly integrated in the RL78 and the kit provides demo software programs that provide the user with an easy and entertaining platform to rapidly evaluate the low power RL78 microcontroller.

This board was created by Renesas' Ecosystems Marketing Manager Oliver Garreau, who in past employment has designed highly popular development kits for STMicroelectronics and Infineon, each more entertaining than the last.

The board can interface to Android and iPhone apps available from the Renesas website and from the Apple store (search key: "Renesas"). From the app you can control certain features of the board, as well as measure temperature and ambient light readings, and view the three-dimensional position of the board via the 3-Axis Accelerometer.

This low-power board can run just from the voltage supplied by a USB port. No external power supply needed.

Renesas RL78/G14 Target Applications and Features:

Renesas RL78 Audio Interfaces:

  • Stereo audio driver connected to the PWM and DAC interfaces
  • Amplified on-board speaker and external Stereo audio jack.
  • On-board MEMS microphone to demonstrate sampling and recording capabilities (ADI)
  • Volume Control Potentiometer, connected to ADC input.

Screenshot of Android app WiFi connected to RL78 Demo board. Note sensor readings
Screenshot of Android app WiFi connected to RL78 Demo board.
Note sensor readings
Renesas RL78 User Interface Demo

  • OKAYA Graphical LCD
  • E Ink Corporation Display
  • User pushbutton switches and a reset switch.
  • 12 on-board LEDs (LED Wheel pattern)

Renesas RL78 Communications Demo

  • On-board Wi-Fi 802.11b Module from GainSpan Corporation
  • RS-232 Interface
  • I2C, SPI with Debug through the Beagle connector from Total Phase
  • Application Header to support several external Wi-Fi modules.
  • PMOD connections to support a variety of generic PMOD devices (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RF, motor control etc…).

Renesas RL78 Memory Storage Demo

  • Micro SD card slot
  • 512KB Serial EEPROM (Renesas)
  • 256KB On-chip Flash Memory (program)
  • 8KB On-Chip Flash Memory (Data)
  • 8Mbit Serial Flash for Web Server data storage (Micron)

Renesas RL78 Digital Sensors Demo

  • 3-Axis Accelerometer (ADI)
  • Temperature Sensor (ADI)
  • Ambient Light Sensor (CEL)

Renesas RL78 Power Control Demo

  • FET Circuit for DC output
  • Fully isolated TRIAC Circuit for AC output with Zero Crossing Detector

Renesas RL78 User Code and Application Debugging

  • On-board debugger for high-quality source code debugging (TK interface)
  • User circuit breadboard area (located underneath E Ink unit)

RL78 Cloud Connection
The RL78G14 RDK kit features an integrated cloud client to provide a simple yet powerful connection to portal and "internet of things" service provider Exosite. The combination of the Exosite cloud interface, Gainspan wireless connectivity, and Renesas low power RL78/G14 microcontroller gives customers practical off-the-shelf building blocks to quickly prototype and create cloud-connected Machine to Machine (M2M) projects. Customers can use configurable web dashboards (and APIs) to remotely interact with their Renesas Demonstration Kits free of charge. Alternate cloud support such as Bug Labs is also offered.

Pricing and Availability
The Renesas RL78/G14 Demo board is available today from Renesas and their distributors p/n YRDKRL78G14 at $99 each. Contact a Renesas representative to obtain one of these boards.

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Renesas RL78-G14 Microcontroller Demo Kit is a Neat Tool Toy

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Product data and specifications in this article are the responsibility of the manufacturer. No warrenty is expressed or implied as to the accuracy of manufacturer-supplied data. So there.
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