Building automation protocol added to Renesas Synergy platform

October 14, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Renesas Electronics and CS-Lab have cooperated to implement BACnet software support for Renesas; the conformance-tested and field-proven software is expected to speed up building automation system designs.

Renesas and CS Lab GmbH are adding a BACnet Verified Software Add-on (VSA) to the Renesas Synergy Gallery. Currently available for the Synergy S7G2 Group microcontrollers, the VSA gives the Synergy Platform customer base plug-and-play access to the BACnet stack from CS-Lab GmbH. Both Renesas and CS-Lab are BACnet International members (www.bacnetinternational.org).

The BACnet communication stack, conforming to ISO16484-5 standard, is a building automation protocol used in many installations around the world for HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), lighting and access control applications. The BACnet VSA offers access to a certified and standards-compliant implementation via IP, Ethernet and MS/TP data layers. The functional range of the stack is suitable for the development of BACnet servers according to the following profile B-SS, B-SA, B-ASC and B-AAC. CS Lab’s “BACeye” tool allows access to BACnet devices and their objects and properties during development.

Renesas Synergy is a complete and qualified platform with fully integrated software, a scalable family of microcontrollers (MCUs), and unified development tools to speed embedded system developers’ time to market as they innovate new products. At the heart of the Synergy Platform is the Synergy Software Package (SSP), which is qualified, supported, warranted, and maintained by Renesas. The SSP consists of a real-time operating system (RTOS), stacks for USB and Ethernet, file systems, and a graphic users interface (GUI) – all accessible through an Application Programming Interface (API) to free customers from struggling with lower-level details. Developers can add specialized functions to their SSP projects with confidence using VSA software components that are continuously verified by Renesas to be SSP-compatible.

As with all VSA’s, the new BACnet VSA can be downloaded as an evaluation library from the Synergy Gallery at no cost, and can then be used under control of the Synergy Platform tool chain using simple drag-and-drop functionality with projects utilizing the SSP. The BACnet VSA was designed using the recently released e2 studio ISDE v5.0. It makes use of the SSP and has been tested on the Renesas Synergy SK-S7G2 Starter Kit.

Christian Klinger, CEO of the CS Lab GmbH comments, "BACnet VSA supports developers in the development of BACnet-compatible applications. Actual low-level operation of the BACnet protocol is abstracted and handled by the SSP and the BACnet VSA enabling programmers to instead concentrate on their end-application. The time saved in the development process may be in this case several months.”