RX65N Envision Kit - Easy Evaluation and Development including TFT and Free GUI SoftwareFollow article
If you are looking out for a high value, low cost evaluation kit, possibly with a TFT display included, the new Renesas Envision Kit featuring the latest 32bit RX65N MCU would be an excellent choice for your next low cost HMI (Human Machine Interface) project.
Renesas offers everything you need for your own board and demo development, such as a board circuit diagram, demo source code etc., so the kit can be used as a sample for developing your own set if needed. Moreover, since the Envision Kit in cooperates an On Chip debugger tool, you can use it for your own application design without the need for further tool investments.
On top of that, engineers developing their system based on an RX65N/RX651 device benefits from a library version of the powerful SEGGER emWin GUI software including helpful tools for free!
The Envision Kit
The Envision Kit shows the capabilities of the RX65N MCU to directly drive a TFT LCD Display using its internal graphic LCD controller (GLCDC) and 2D drawing engine (DRW2D) peripherals. The display on the Envision Kit is a 4.3 inch 480 x 272 (WQVGA) colour display. On the Envision kit, the display is connected in RGB565 16-bit colour format.
The Envision Kit display incorporates a capacitive touchscreen, which is accessed via a multi-touch controller. This controller is integrated into the cable connection from the touchscreen on the display to the 6-way 0.5mm pitch connector CN6. It communicates with the RX65N MCU via I2C to the Serial Communication Interface (SCI) peripheral.
In addition the Envision Kit provides the following features as shown in the following picture:
- In-circuit programming and debugging with E2 Lite On Board (E2OB).
- WQVGA (480 x 272) TFT LCD panel driven directly from the RX65N Graphic LCD Controller (GLCDC) peripheral.
- Graphics manipulation using the 2D Graphics Drawing Engine (DRW2D).
- Capacitive touch screen sampling via I2C controller.
- On-board QSPI serial Flash.
- USB 2.0 Host.
- Connection for external PmodTM based peripherals.
A variety of other peripherals are tracked into the RX65N Envision Kit PCB design, but not fitted as standard.
- Ethernet – Requires Ethernet RMII Phy IC and surface mount connector.
- SD Host Interface – Requires SDHI connector and power management IC.
- Joystick – Providing switch inputs for left, right, up, down and centre mapping to RX65N IRQ ports.
- Provision to expand functionality with ArduinoTM style shields.
If you intend to expand the board by your own needs, the Envision Kit offers a variety of different interfaces to do so. An overview of the available headers can be found in the below picture:
The Envision Kit Demo Software
The Envision Kit comes with a default demo firmware to showcase the different features of the RX65N MCU. To switch between the different available demos, simply select the demo by touch on the screen. The provided help button in each demo will provide additional guidance.
2D Drawing Engine demo
The 2D Drawing Engine demo shows the efficiency of the 2D graphic accelerator embedded in the RX65N MCU working with semi-transparent images and alpha blending. The clouds ‘sprite’ moves smoothly over a fixed image background with hidden area redrawn dynamically as it is uncovered. The RX Logo can be moved by your finger tip using the touch screen. Without 2D drawing engine enable the frame rate is about 10-20 fps, but with 2D drawing engine enabled the frame rate is about 60 fps.
Balls bouncing demo
The Bouncing Ball demo shows the superior calculation performance of the 32-bit RX65N MCU. Several balls enter the screen at random angles from the top left and fall and bounce under the influence of a simulated gravity model. The RXv2 Core and the integrated Floating Point Unit (FPU) make the calculations an easy task for the RX65N. In addition the the 2D graphic accelerator embedded in the RX65N MCU can be turned on in addition, which results in massive improvements in regards to the overall performance.
A Mandelbrot set image is generated by resolving an algebraic function for a series of complex numbers and is used as an example of calculation intensive activity for any CPU.
The RXv2 Core structure includes:
- Single Precision Floating Point Unit (FPU) adapts pipeline processing to boost throughput
- DSP functionality achieves single-cycle throughput on 32bit multiply-accumulate operation using two sets of wide-range accumulators
- Dual-issue five-stage integer pipeline incorporates enhanced DSP/FPU functionality
All of this make the Mandelbrot calculation in real time an easy task for the RX65N.
Bank Swap demo
It is possible to update the firmware by inserting a USB memory stick containing suitable firmware image into the USB Host interface of the Envision Kit.
To obtain a firmware image to be copied to your blank USB memory stick, please go to: https://www.renesas.com/eu/en/products/software-tools/boards-and-kits/renesas-promotion-boards/rx65n-envision-kit.html
Once the new firmware image has been flashed into the alternate embedded flash memory bank, you can quickly swap between the two firmware versions using the Bank Swap dialogue, due to the enhanced flash architecture. In the default kit shipment you will be able to find a benchmark firmware on the second memory bank. Give it a try and press the swap button.
The RX65N MCU
The RX65N MCU with an operating frequency of 120 MHz combined with the enhanced RXv2 CPU core architecture achieves an overall processing performance of 4.62 CoreMark/MHz. The embedded TFT controller and the integrated 2D graphic accelerator provides advanced graphics features and high performance in the application. If the chosen TFT display size is up to WQVGA, the large on chip RAM of 640KB could be used as display frame buffer, which ensure a cost optimized design, by saving an external RAM.
Free Middleware and driver
You will especially like the fact that you do not have to program the microcontroller manually. In the Peripheral Code Generator (Web link: https://www.renesas.com/en-eu/products/software-tools/tools/code-generator/code-generator-plug-in.html) you can set the desired option, and then the source code is generated based on your choices.
However, with more complex projects, you cannot avoid to write code yourself. To facilitate the work, the Firmware Integration Technology (FIT) (Web link: https://www.renesas.com/eu/en/products/software-tools/software-os-middleware-driver/software-package/fit.html ) provides numerous libraries including USB and Ethernet stacks making the web search for required software pieces almost unnecessary.
Segger emWin GUI Software
RX65N/RX651 MCU customers can use a full SEGGER emWin license for commercial use for free. This provides you a powerful and flexible GUI software ensuring that the designed HMI looks optimised for the application needs, at no extra software investment. To get that package you have to register yourself at the following webpage:
Registration and the usage of the Segger emWin GUI software in your RX65N/RX651 project is free.
The Envision Kit is the ideal basement for your own HMI designs, as it includes all required to make a perfect start:
- Power full 32bit RX65N MCU with 2MB Flash and 640kB RAM
- WQVGA (480 x 272) with capacitive touch screen
- On board debugger
- Easy to use PCB with expansion headers
- Free of charge development environment (compiler limited to 128kB Flash code after 60days)
- Free Middleware and driver
- Free Segger emWin library
Have a nice and successful engineering day!
Further details as well as the board schematic, demo projects, manuals etc can be found at: https://www.renesas.com/eu/en/products/software-tools/boards-and-kits/renesas-promotion-boards/rx65n-envision-kit.html