Renesas Creates 2 Programs for Embedded Microcontrollers, Microprocessors

In accelerating its efforts to expand leadership in the embedded microcontroller (MCU) and microprocessor (MPU) markets, Renesas Technology America, Inc. introduced two new grass-root programs to aid MCU and MPU-based system development. The Americas’ version of the Alliance Program is an extension of a true global partnership program for facilitating and speeding up the development of embedded systems that use Renesas devices. Renesas University, on the other hand, is an expansion of an ongoing worldwide support effort intended to improve the educational resources available to engineering professors and students who are gaining technology insights and practical experience by working on embedded system projects.

Renesas Technology has long offered various customer and educational support programs, including global developers’ programs for the mobile handset market (the SH-Mobile Consortium) and the high-end automotive systems market (the COMET program) globally. The two new programs are tailored for the development MCU- and MPU-based systems that serve segments of the American market such as automotive, consumer, industrial and data processing.

“Because the development environment for embedded systems is becoming more complex, many customers today are looking for system-level expertise and support from semiconductor suppliers,” said Todd DeBoer, director, sales activation, system LSI business unit, Renesas Technology America, Inc. “Renesas, the world’s largest MCU supplier, is addressing this need by introducing here a combination of two unique programs. Both programs are intended to simplify the design process of electronic systems built with Renesas’ MCU and MPU devices. The Alliance Program already has more than 100 partners in the Americas and over 400 partners globally and continues to grow. The Renesas University program currently has 31 universities enrolled in the U.S., plus dozens more internationally, and is expanding.”

About the “Alliance” program
The Alliance Program provides engineers with a complete suite of development resources for designing embedded systems using MCUs – from project consulting, manufacturing services, development tool support and to programming services through Renesas’ global network of partners. For example, it allows users to easily evaluate a range of software or middleware products that are optimized for Renesas platforms without having to search for and qualify vendors. Users also can compare various tools from multiple sources to find the ones that best meet their system needs. The program enables engineers to shorten the product design cycle by providing comprehensive, one-stop development solutions. At the same time, the resources assembled by the program help reduce overall system cost and minimize any risks associated with development, since the Renesas qualification procedure verifies that the partners in the program have acquired design experience in specific areas.

The Alliance Program consists of three levels of partnership. “Alliance Partners” are firms that qualify for program membership by demonstrating an ability to serve Renesas MCU customers and meeting various criteria, such as the number of engineering staff and the number of years in business. “Gold Partners” are selected for a higher level of membership after meeting additional criteria, such as completing design projects with Renesas and obtaining certification via technical training, including online courses at the Renesas Interactive website. “Platinum Partners” earn the highest level of membership by invitation only, after having achieved significant success in working with Renesas in various activities.

The member benefits of the Alliance Program include training courses, early access to information about Renesas’ products and technology (roadmaps, application notes, chip development status, tool development status, etc.), a listing in the “Partner” information area on the Renesas website, and eligibility for discounts and special promotions.

About the “Renesas University” program
The Renesas University program, which encompasses engineering schools worldwide, gives educators innovative ways to teach MCU and MPU technology to engineering students using Renesas’ modern architectures and professional-grade tools. Students can learn how to design electronic systems using Renesas’ leading-edge MCU and MPU architectures, supported by an abundant resource library of tutorials, documentation, application notes and other technical support material. By giving students early exposure to industry-leading architectures, it helps them to acquire the up-to-date knowledge and development skills they need to succeed as engineers after graduation. The program also offers professors opportunities to publish technical papers on various Renesas websites and provides assistance in publishing course material. Qualified educators are able to obtain Renesas Starter Kits at no cost. The kits include a USB-powered MCU-based development board with an in-circuit debugger and the Renesas High-performance Embedded Workshop integrated development environment with documentation and support.

A technology and market leader
Renesas Technology is a technology leader in MCUs and was ranked the world’s largest MCU supplier with 23 percent market share in CY2006, according to market share data published by Gartner, Inc.1 The company’s technology leadership is illustrated by a recently announced program to develop a new CPU architecture that will provide revolutionary enhancements over previous-generation microcontrollers in code-efficiency, processing performance (MIPS/MHz), and power consumption, while maintaining compatibility with its existing devices. According to the same data by Gartner, Renesas achieved 32-percent sales growth in the Americas in 2006, increasing its market share to 14 percent.

About Renesas Technology Corp.
Renesas Technology Corp. is one of the world’s leading semiconductor system solutions providers for mobile, automotive and PC/AV (Audio Visual) markets and the world’s No.1 supplier of microcontrollers. It is also a leading provider of LCD Driver ICs, Smart Card microcontrollers, RF-ICs, High Power Amplifiers, Mixed Signal ICs, System-on-Chip (SoC), System-in-Package (SiP) and more. Established in 2003 as a joint venture between Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE:6501, NYSE:HIT) and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TSE:6503), Renesas Technology achieved consolidated revenue of 953billion JPY in FY2006 (end of March 2007). Renesas Technology is based in Tokyo, Japan and has a global network of manufacturing, design and sales operations in around 20 countries with about 26,500 employees worldwide.

(1) Data source: Gartner, Inc., “Semiconductor Industry Worldwide Annual Market Share: Database” by Gerald Van Hoy, April 3, 2007