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Renesas creates open-source ventilator system reference design to fight the COVID-19 pandemic

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Renesas now offers a new open-source medical ventilators system reference design for ready-to-assemble boards. This is welcomed in the currently-critical shortage of ventilators as COVID-19 infections continue to rise and hospital demand exceeds supply.

“Customers can accelerate their development of medical ventilator systems capable of operating in a home or hospital environment,” said Chris Allexandre, Senior Vice President, IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit at Renesas.

Renesas engineers have followed several open-source ventilator designs, including the Medtronic PB560, to come up with an easy to assemble three board ventilator design. It controls the tidal volume and mixture of gas delivered to the patient while monitoring the patient’s status. The ventilator is portable and can be used with or without gas tanks. In addition, a humidifier can be connected to the ventilator’s intake path to soothe the patient’s breathing, making it more comfortable to be connected for long durations.

The reference design uses 20 Renesas ICs, consisting of microcontroller (MCU), power, and analog ICs that address many of the ventilator’s signal chain electrical functions. The system design implements a sensor board, a motor control board, and features Bluetooth connectivity that allows medical professionals to monitor several patients simultaneously via a tablet or other mobile device. Each board has a microcontroller (MCU) to control its specific task while monitoring the status of the connecting board. The ventilator solution also provides a system of checks and balances to enable regulatory approval and provide patient safety.

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