Press release

Renesas Electronics Unveils Easy, Cost-Effective Liquid and Solid Material Detection Solution for Industrial, OA, and Home Appliances

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Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of
advanced semiconductor solutions, today introduced its Material
Detection Solution, which can detect materials or liquids easily and
cost effectively without sensors by connecting electrodes using Renesas’ RX130
capacitive touch-key microcontrollers (MCUs). Replacing the sensors with
this electrode approach contributes to lower bill of materials (BOM)
costs while enabling detection at multiple points using a single chip.
This allows industrial equipment, OA equipment, and home appliance
manufacturers to explore detection systems for cost-constrained

Renesas’ touch-key MCUs feature a capacitive
touch sensor unit
specialized for capacitance measurement with
extremely high sensitivity and high noise resistance. This enables the
Material Detection Solution to easily detect the presence or absence of
a powder such as vacuum cleaner dust, a liquid such as refrigerator and
coffee maker, or material such as paper by measuring the capacitance
between electrodes to the MCU. The increase or decrease of the powder,
liquid, or material will change the capacitance value between the

“Sensor systems are an indispensable element in our customers’
application development efforts, and we are excited to add capacitive
touch solutions with different capabilities that enable new use cases,”
said Shigeki Kato, Vice President of Renesas’ Enterprise
Infrastructure Business Division, Industrial Solution Business Unit.

“With our new capacitive touch-based detection systems, customers can
expand their sensing function range while taking advantage of reduced
BOM cost and improved detection accuracy.”

As sensor-based technology proliferates in industrial equipment, OA
equipment, and home appliances, the demand for different types of sensor
solutions is rapidly increasing to address diverse sensing needs.
Applications require fine-grained sensing for predictive maintenance
capabilities. For instance, printers are required to detect the
remaining amounts of consumable materials and inform users in advance
when replacements are required. Vacuum cleaners also need to manage the
accumulation of dust retained by vacuum cleaner filters in order to
perform efficient cleaning. This provides improved device functionality
and increased user convenience.

Although these applications can be implemented by using various types of
sensors, such as pressure sensors for detecting physical objects,
photosensors, IR sensors, and CMOS sensors, the use of multiple sensors
creates additional cost and heavy development burdens.

Key Features of the Material Detection Solution:

To achieve sensor-less physical object detection easily and
cost-effectively, the Renesas solution connects two thin-film electrodes
and measures the capacitance between those electrodes using one of its
touch-key MCUs. Changes in the measured materials are determined by
detecting the change in capacitance between the electrodes.

In addition to eliminating the need for sensor evaluation and operating
condition determination, the initialization and sensitivity adjustments
can be easily performed using the development support graphical user
interface (GUI) tool available for capacitive touch sensor systems. This
enables developers to quickly implement a capacitive touch sensor unit
in equipment that require a detection function.

Material Detection Solution includes design support materials:

  • Electrode interface circuit diagrams
  • Sample program
  • Guidelines for the newly implemented detection functions

Moving forward, Renesas will continue to pursue the development of
embedded solutions that deliver increased endpoint intelligence for the
Operational Technology (OT) field.


The Material Detection Solution is available now for free download at

More Information

To learn more about the Renesas’ capacitive touch key solutions, visit

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:
) delivers trusted embedded design innovation with complete
semiconductor solutions that enable billions of connected, intelligent
devices to enhance the way people work and live. A global
leader in microcontrollers, analog, power, and SoC products, Renesas
provides comprehensive solutions for a broad range of automotive,
industrial, home electronics, office automation, and information
communication technology applications that help shape a limitless
future. Learn more at

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