Renesas Electronics America Stirs Up the Future of Cooking at FirstBuild Mega Hackathon

Human-Machine Interface for Innovative Smart Appliances Delivers Powerful User Interactivity and New Experiences

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — September 21, 2016 — Renesas Electronics America Inc., a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, will showcase technologies that are enabling the future of cooking at the FirstBuild™ Mega Hackathon this weekend in Louisville, Ky. The company will highlight human machine interface (HMI) solutions, enabled by Renesas technologies, such as capacitive touch and facial and voice recognition, for the smart kitchen.

“As technology advancements make ubiquitous connectivity and HMI more commonplace, the kitchen is one area experiencing a renaissance, and we are excited that our embedded expertise is enabling new possibilities – from automation to personalization – that enhance users’ everyday kitchen experiences,” said Julian Psaila, Director, Segment Marketing, Renesas Electronics America. “The FirstBuild Mega Hackathon will bring communities together to collaborate and innovate, and we look forward to exploring how the future of cooking could look with participants this weekend.”

Renesas joins FirstBuild for the event, which will welcome more than 300 designers, engineers, makers, tech enthusiasts, students, and foodies for 30 hours of intense collaboration, prototyping, problem solving, and coding to build new ideas for innovative smart cooking devices. Vin D’Agostino, Vice President, General Purpose Products Unit, Renesas Electronics America, will open the Hackathon activities at 10:00 am Eastern Time on September 24.

Technology Demonstrations

During the Hackathon, Renesas Electronics America will demonstrate the use of HMI solutions to bring new capabilities and ways for users to interact with their appliances.

  • Capacitive Touch

Renesas will highlight two solutions that demonstrate capacitive touch-based applications that are easier and more convenient to use in the smart kitchen.

Through smartphones, consumers are becoming used to the touch/swipe approach to control their devices. The addition of capacitive touch in home appliances extends that familiar experience to the kitchen. However, appliances face some challenging operation requirements. The capacitive touch panel demo, featuring the RX130 Group of microcontrollers (MCUs) with a built-in maximum 36-channel capacitive touch sensor, will highlight the use of capacitive touch in common kitchen scenarios, such as operation in the event of water, sprays, dirt, and other organic substances that may get onto touch buttons. The RX130 MCU is equipped with an innovative capacitive touch IP block that delivers best-in-class signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) according to industrial-grade IEC61000.4-3 and IEC61000.4-6 noise immunity tests.

Capacitive touch can also be used to interact with devices through hand proximity sensing. The proximity demo, featuring the RX113 Group of MCUs, will show how users can turn on an appliance screen without touching it – using a high-sensitivity capacitive touch solution. Sharing the same innovative capacitive touch IP as the RX130, the RX113 MCU can support various plastic panel types with thickness up to 1cm and achieve proximities up to 30cm.

  • Personalized Experience

Connectivity in the kitchen opens the door for more opportunities to create customized experiences. The user profile detection demo, featuring Renesas’ RZ/G microprocessor (MPU) Series, will explore the possibilities for a smart system using facial recognition technologies and pre-designated user information to create a safer and more personalized kitchen environment. For instance, it could differentiate access to a hot oven or stovetop based on user age identification, or display different user menus for each family member. The RZ/G1 Series with power-efficient ARM® Cortex®-A7 and high-performance Cortex-A15 options enable the rapid development of differentiated Linux applications, including graphics, embedded vision, camera support, and multi-stream video for next-generation appliance HMI designs.

For more information about Renesas, follow Renesas Electronics America at @RenesasAmerica on Twitter and For more information on the event, visit FirstBuild Mega Hackathon or follow @firstbuild on Twitter.

About Renesas Electronics America

Renesas Electronics America Inc., a subsidiary of Renesas Electronics Corporation ( TSE: 6723), delivers trusted embedded design innovation with complete semiconductor solutions that enable billions of connected, intelligent devices to enhance the way people work and live—securely and safely. The number one global supplier of microcontrollers, and a leader in Analog & Power and SoC products, Renesas provides the expertise, quality, and comprehensive solutions for a broad range of Automotive, Industrial, Home Electronics (HE), Office Automation (OA), and Information Communication Technology (ICT) applications to help shape a limitless future. Learn more at

(Remarks) FirstBuild is a trademark of FirstBuild. ARM is a registered trademark of ARM Limited (or its subsidiaries) in the EU and/or elsewhere. Cortex is a registered trademark of ARM Limited (or its subsidiaries) in the EU and/or elsewhere. All other registered trademarks or trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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