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Renesas design speeds connection to enterprise clouds

Steve Rogerson
March 6, 2018

Japanese giant Renesas Electronics announced at last week’s Embedded World in Nuremberg a reference design and starting point for users to connect in ten minutes or less to enterprise clouds such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.
The Synergy Enterprise Cloud Toolbox v1.1 is a software application project that, together with the Synergy AE-Cloud1 kit, provides a toolbox that can save embedded developers weeks or even months to create a secure end-to-end IoT applications for monitoring and controlling the surrounding environment in home, building or industrial automation systems.
“There has been a lot of talk of cloud and IoT for a couple of years and maybe they have become overused terms,” said Mohammed Dogar (pictured), from the company’s broad-based business unit. “We can now provide from chip to cloud in a secure fashion.”
The toolbox software can be cut and pasted into real projects, enabling code reuse to accelerate product development. The software includes project files and C source code for the microcontroller based on the Synergy SSP software package v1.3.3 and Java and JavaScript source code for the web dashboard.
The MCU software executes on the companion AE-Cloud1 kit, which contains a Synergy S5D9 fast prototyping board, wifi module and a Segger J-Link Lite debugger and programmer.
To start an IoT application, developers download the cloud toolbox application project for use with either of the Synergy development environments – e2studio or IAR Embedded Workbench – to build and modify the embedded MCU and dashboard source code.
The toolbox lets developers use the SSP’s integrated message queue telemetry transport for NetX Duo and NetX Secure transport layer security to connect to their cloud vendor of choice. At no cost, developers can also make this connection using a Renesas-hosted cloud account. The toolbox makes it easier for users to visualise their sensor data on a password protected, private dashboard streaming live to the cloud from Synergy MCU-based hardware over Ethernet or wifi connection.
Also at the show, Renesas announced its latest industrial Ethernet module, the I-RJ45, which incorporates a single- or dual-port RJ45 connector and simplifies integration for industrial Ethernet by supporting various industrial network slave applications including sensors and transmitters, gateways, operator terminals and remote IO.
It comprises an intelligent RJ45 module that comes with qualified embedded software to support multiple industrial Ethernet protocol stacks. The software package and sample codes provide system manufacturers with a set of tools and frameworks to build their application without any additional up-front costs or complexity. This accelerates prototyping, reducing the time needed for industrial network protocol integration efforts by up to three months.
“The entire thing is embedded on an RJ45 module,” said Andreas Thamm (above) from the firm’s industrial business unit,” so it looks like a connector. The main interface is the RJ45 connector and the other side you have a 9bit SPI.”
The module is a ready-to-use hardware and software device that includes a pre-certified Profinet implementation and can be used for mass-produced applications. Renesas plans to support other industrial protocols including EtherCat and EtherNet/IP in the future.
With a general application programmable interface, the application can be connected to the protocol software and offers a seamless integration path to other Renesas ASSPs. The single-port version is based on the RX64M microcontroller and the dual-port module includes the R-IN32M3 industrial Ethernet communications chip.
Renesas also offers a kit version of the module that exists on a single or dual-port industrial Ethernet module soldered on an adapter board for development. This adapter board provides standard Arduino and Pmod interfaces, which enable it to connect to other Renesas MCU development boards including Synergy and RX. The Ethernet module kit also includes a quick start up guide, a USB cable and a CD with software and documentation.