Modular IoT development system reduces development time, says Renesas

To ease the prototyping of IoT systems, Renesas has introduced the Quick-Connect IoT system, consisting of standardised boards and interfaces. Designers can quickly connect a range of sensors to microcontroller development boards. The system also delivers core software building blocks that are portable between boards, which greatly reduces coding requirements, says Renesas.

Working with Digilent, Renesas has created a new, expanded I2C Pmod Interface, Type 6A, for wider coverage and added flexibility. Renesas has standardised the Pmod 6A connector from Digilent for new sensor Pmods and microcontroller development kits. This standardisation allows designers to select the optimal combination for any IoT prototype design, says Renesas. Microcontroller boards will have two Pmod connectors, one for a sensor Pmod, and another for a communications module. The Pmods can also be cascaded for even greater flexibility, advises Renesas.

Common software application program interfaces (APIs) and hardware abstraction layer (HAL) code have been redefined for a wide variety of sensors. These are embedded into the Renesas e2 studio integrated development environment (IDE). Now, instead of writing and testing hundreds of lines of driver code, designers only need to graphically select their sensor and write a few lines of code. “We will expand its coverage to support more boards and devices in the future. Additionally, having a standardised hardware connectivity platform allows customers to use compatible Pmods developed by third parties and other suppliers.”

“The new Pmod interface Type 6A . . . conforms to the I2C specifications with an optional interrupt and reset pin plus optional control signals, giving users added flexibility for diverse types of system development,” said Talesa Bleything, director of marketing at Digilent.

Initially, Quick-Connect IoT will include over a dozen new Renesas sensor Pmods and other modular boards, including air quality sensors, flow sensors, bio-sensing, time of flight, temperature and other sensing elements.

Further sensor Pmods are under development that will include a variety of sensors and peripherals. Over 25 microcontroller development boards and kits spanning the RA, RX and RL78 families are compatible with the Pmod Type 6A standard, either directly or through a small interposer board developed by Renesas. RE and RZ development boards will be supported in the near future.

Development kits, sensor and interposer boards can be ordered through Renesas sales and sample channels.

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