The Industry’s First MCUs with Built-In LCD Driver Optimized for Data Loggers



Enables data-logging, LCD drive, and PDF generation for up to 1 year on a single coin battery

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ROHM Group company LAPIS Semiconductor has recently announced the availability of 32bit microcontrollers ideal for data loggers used in logistics for acquisition and management of environmental information during package shipment.

The ML630Q464/466 are the first ICs in the industry to integrate all major functions required for data logging (USB, high-speed clock generation, LCD driver, high-accuracy RC oscillation type AD converter), data acquisition (i.e. temperature, humidity, acceleration), data display, and PDF file generation on a single chip.

In recent years rising concerns about the safety and security of foods and medicines have expanded the use of logistics systems to maintain cold temperatures (cold chain) without interruption, from production to transportation and consumption, particularly for perishables and pharmaceuticals. Consequently, in the logistics industry it will be necessary to manage the transportation environment that affects package quality – namely temperature, humidity, and shock/vibration. This is expected to increase demand for management tools such as data loggers by more than 10% per year.

For data loggers, which are typically attached to packages and in many cases disposable, it is important to reduce both size and cost by utilizing smaller batteries along with fewer parts. In addition, operating guidelines such as FDA*1 regulations on cold chain and GDP*2 require reliable recording of package conditions during transport and the output of uneditable PDF files to prevent tampering of records (log data).

In response, the ML640Q464/466 provide PDF file generation and integrate key functions for USB data logging on 1 chip while leveraging LAPIS Semiconductor’s expertise in low power consumption, high noise immunity, and high performance. These new MCUs utilize an ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit CPU core to achieve high performance with low power consumption. Log data can be easily converted to PDF in about 4 seconds and operation is enabled for up to 380 days*3 using a single coin battery. In addition, the products inherit LAPIS Semiconductor’s robust noise immunity, making it possible to achieve stable operation even under severe conditions.

LAPIS Semiconductor strongly supports IoT solution suppliers in supply chain and logistics with comprehensive reference design using LAPIS Semiconductor’s advanced low power technology based high performance MCUs and wireless communication LSIs.

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Key Features

1. All major USB data logger functions integrated on one chip, reducing board space by 30%

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These ICs incorporate all major features required for USB data loggers, including USB I/F, high-speed clock generator, LCD driver, and high-accuracy RC oscillation type AD converter (ADC).

The ADC provides a temperature measurement accuracy of ±0.5℃ using only a thermistor and resistor/capacitor, unlike typical temperature measurement circuits consisting of a temperature sensor, thermistor, and reference voltage generation circuit. This reduces board space by 30% over conventional solutions.

In addition, higher performance is achieved by utilizing an ARM Cortex M0+ CPU core and incorporating an optimized PDF generation program within the IC that makes it possible to create a single A4 page PDF file with 2,500 measurement points in roughly 4 seconds. Also, combining the customer’s AES encryption program with the built-in AES function and random number generator allows users to generate password-protected PDF files.

2. Providing high performance and low power consumption enables operation for up to 380 days with a single coin battery

USB data logger operation is roughly divided into two parts: (1) reading and recording sensor data at specific intervals and (2) generating a PDF file when USB connection is established at the end of use. However, standby current consumption will have a dominant effect on battery life, since most of the time the data logger is in a dormant state.

These new MCUs achieve a best-in-class standby current consumption of 0.8uA by supporting 4 low power modes. As a result, operation for up to 380 days is achieved utilizing a single coin battery (CR2032) with just 1/3rd the capacity of conventional batteries required for MCUs used in typical data loggers.

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3. Decreases mounting area by 30%, reducing design load

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The BH1790GLC is capable of detecting high quality pulse signals using low VF low brightness LED elements, eliminating the need for DC/DC circuits for LED power supply conventionally required. This decreases mounting area by 30%, lightening development load.

4. Robust noise immunity (inherited from LAPIS Semiconductor’s ‘Tough’ MCU series) contributes to stable operation even under harsh environments

To protect important log data (for verifying package quality) against external noise these new MCUs inherit original low power consumption and noise immunity technologies adopted in LAPIS Semiconductor’s ‘Tough Low Power’ MCU series.

The ML630Q46x MCUs have succeeded in clearing ±30kV, far exceeding the measurement instrument limit of test voltage level 4 (±8kV indirect contact discharge) of the IEC 61000-4-2*4 standard established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). [Measured using the ML630Q466 reference board.] This enables stable operation even under harsh environments.

Sales Plan

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Specifications

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Notes
*1: US Food and Drug Administration, responsible for establishing provisions on foods, beverages, cosmetics, medicines, medical equipment, radiation equipment, and veterinary related products sold in the US.

*2: GDP (Good Distribution Practice), appropriate distribution standards for pharmaceutical products. Regulations for guaranteeing the quality of pharmaceuticals (safety and efficacy).

*3: Calculation conditions: CR2032 coin battery, 10min sensor data read intervals, LCD display enabled

*4: A standard established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), used to evaluate the noise immunity of electronic equipment against ESD. .


About ROHM Group

ROHM Semiconductor, an industry leader in system LSIs, discrete components and module products, utilizes proprietary leading-edge semiconductor technologies along with a completely in-house, vertically integrated production system that allows ROHM to quickly respond to changing needs while ensuring unsurpassed quality and reliability. ROHM has also established a global manufacturing, QA, and sales network in order to deliver stable supply and timely support to customers around the world.

LAPIS Semiconductor, acquired in 2008 by the ROHM Group through a spin-off of OKI’s semiconductor business, supplies market-leading logic, memory, and driver ICs by leveraging low power consumption, high-frequency circuit, and digital-analog mixed signal technologies. Foundry services are also available for producing custom products for other companies.

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