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Renesas Releases E8a Emulator For Microcontroller Development

Renesas Technology Corp. today announced an ultra-small, low-priced, environment-friendly on-chip debugging emulator dubbed "E8a Emulator" as a development tool for Renesas microcontrollers. Sample shipments will begin in February 2007 in Japan.

This emulator is the successor to the E8 Emulator low-priced development tool for Renesas microcontrollers such as M16C Family and others. The E8a Emulator has been reduced in volume to approximately 40% that of the E8 Emulator while inheriting its emulation functions and ease of use. In addition, the range of applicable microcontrollers for the programming function for on-chip flash and other memory has been greatly extended.

The E8a Emulator offers the following features:

  • Applicability of programming function for on-chip flash memory, etc., extended to all Renesas microcontroller families.

    The functions of the E8a Emulator are compatible with those of Renesasís current E8 Emulator. In addition, programming function for on-chip flash and other memory has been extended to cover previously unsupported Renesas products, including SuperH Family and H8S Family microcontrollers. Combining the Flash Development Toolkit software provided by Renesas enables to be used as the programmer for all microcontroller families with on-chip program storage memory such as flash memory. This makes it possible to construct a large-volume microcontroller programming line at low cost in a userís volume production process.

  • New design offering ultra-compact dimensions and use of environment-friendly materials.

    The new design features Renesas Technologyís trademark red color-based and an attached strap, and offers ultra-compact dimensions of 92 mm x 42 mm x 15 mm, representing approximately 30% reduction in area and approximately 60% reduction in volume compared with the current E8 Emulator. With the environment in mind, vegetable-based polylactide, a biodegradable plastic material, is used for the case. The ultra-small size allows compact storage even when a large number of emulators are used.

  • Extended on-chip memory programming operating voltage range.

    By lowering the lower-limit voltage, the supported microcontroller programming operating voltage range has been extended from 3-5 V to 1.8-5 V, enabling the E8a Emulator to be used for future microcontrollers that are expected to use a lower programming voltage for flash and other memory. In addition, a clock oscillator has been newly incorporated to enable asynchronous communication in line with a microcomputerís operating frequency.

As with the E8 Emulator, this new emulator employs a method whereby communication with the debugger is performed by means of a single pin for the R8C/Tiny Series. Connection via a single pin allows debugging of all I/O pins in their actual operating state, and enables efficient program development to be carried out.

A Windows-compatible PC can be used as the host computer, connected via a USB V2.0 (Full Speed) interface allowing high-speed serial communication. The E8a Emulator operates in bus-powered mode using the USB power supply, allowing simple connection with no need for a separate power cable.

The High-performance Embedded Workshop integrated development environment is used for the user interface, linking together a variety of software including a C++ compiler, debugger, and linker. This allows efficient program development by controlling various tasks from programming to building and debugging via an integrated man-machine interface.

When the E8a Emulator is used as a programmer that writes to flash memory, combined use with the Flash Development Toolkit software provided by Renesas enables products in the SuperH Family and so forth to be supported. The Flash Development Toolkit is software offering such features as automatic disconnection after programming and automated operation by means of a script (command-based batch processing), and includes useful functions that can also be applied to a userís volume production processes and the like.

The interface to the user system is implemented via a 14-pin connector compatible with the current E8 Emulator, allowing direct use of third-party products and user systems equipped with an E8 Emulator standard interface.

The E8a Emulator will be exhibited at "Embedded Technology 2006" being held at Pacifico Yokohama from November 15 to 17.

Source: Renesas Technology Corp.

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