Renesas unveils Arm Helium-based MCUs

07 November 2023
The RA8 MCUs features Arm TrustZone technology and Renesas security IP. Source: Renesas

Renesas Electronics Corp. has unveiled what it claims is one of the most powerful microcontrollers (MCUs) on the market with 3000 CoreMark points.

Called the RA8 series, the MCUs are the first to implement the Arm Cortex-M85 processors that deploy Arm Helium technology, a vector extension that provides up to four times performance boost for digital signal processor (DSP) and machine learning (ML) implementations compared to previous generations of Arm MCUs.

The Helium technology allows users to eliminate an additional DSP in systems for certain applications. The MCUs enable edge and endpoint devices to implement natural language processing in voice AI and predictive maintenance applications.

The MCUs include Arm TrustZone technology and Renesas security IP that provides edge cryptographic accelerators and supports true secure boot. Other security features are immutable storage for a strong hardware root-of-trust, Octal SPI with decryption-on-the-fly (DOTF), security authenticated debug, secure factory programming and tamper protection.

Other features of the RA8 series are:

  • Integrated 2MB/1MB flash memory
  • 1MB SRAM
  • xSPI compliant Octal SPI with XIP and DOTF
  • CAN-FD, Ethernet, USBFS/HS, I3C
  • 16-bit camera interface
  • 100/144/176 LQFP, 224 BGA packages
  • Low voltage range
  • Fast wakeup time
  • Low typical active and standby currents
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