New Industry Products

CPUs support Real-Time Control and Deterministic Network Connectivity

November 17, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

Renesas Electronics today announced the RZ/T1 Group, a new factory automation solution with built-in industrial network functionality for use in many industrial applications such as ac servo drives, motion controllers, inverter control and general industrial equipment that require high speed, responsiveness, and excellent real-time performance.

“Increased demand for productivity in today’s factories requires improvements in performance and network connectivity,” said Niels Trapp, Senior Manager, Industrial & Communications Business Group, Renesas Electronics Europe. “The new RZ/T1 Series addresses these market needs by combining high-performance, real-time control and multi-protocol industrial Ethernet communication functions on a single chip.”

Traditional solutions such as high-frequency microprocessors (MPUs) with cache memory are unsuited for real-time control because of the unpredictability characteristics of cache memory. And, while microcontrollers (MCUs) with on-chip flash memory are likewise marketed for real-time control, the increasing performance requirements are driving them to hit their performance ceiling.

In addition, deterministic, open standard networks such as EtherCAT®, Ethernet/IP™, and PROFINET are becoming mainstream in all types of industrial equipment. Supporting such standards typically requires the use of a separate ASIC with dedicated communication functionality, which leads to increased system cost and circuit board footprint.

The new RZ/T1 group of devices are built around the ARM® Cortex®-R4F core operating at up to 600 megahertz (MHz) and are configured with two regions of tightly coupled memory (TCM, Note 1), which is linked directly to the CPU core, removing the need for cache memory. TCMs support critical routines, such as interrupt handling routines or real-time tasks, ensuring the highest level of responsiveness with no cache latency. The RZ/T1 also integrates the R-IN Engine industrial Ethernet communication accelerator. It provides the same multi-protocol features as the highly regarded Renesas R-IN Series, with support for multiple industrial Ethernet communication standards, including EtherCAT.

The RZ/T1 devices likewise retain many of the peripheral functions of the Renesas RX Family and SH Family, making it easier for system manufacturers to design scalable industrial control equipment systems leveraging multiple Renesas architectures. With all the processing power and real-time architecture to manage tighter control loops, the network connectivity to support deterministic communication, and the capability of a high speed encoder interface all in a single chip, the RZ/T1 is truly an AC servo solution on a single chip.

With the addition of this new series of products to the RZ Family, Renesas now supplies solutions essential to the realization of the “smart society”. Renesas will continue to develop new products, ranging from the high-end to the low-end, in response to the emerging needs of the marketplace. The RZ/T1 Group includes ten new devices, and samples are scheduled to be available beginning January 2015. Mass production is scheduled to begin in October 2015.