Tokyo-based Renesas Electronics Corp. , a supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, has introduced a new open-source ventilator system reference design  that customers can use to swiftly design ready-to-assemble boards for medical ventilators. Many regions are experiencing a critical shortage of ventilators as COVID-19 infections continue to rise and hospital demand exceeds supply.

“Renesas’ engineers have created a ventilator system reference design to address the challenges our global community faces as we fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Chris Allexandre, senior vice president, IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit at Renesas. “Leveraging our broad product portfolio and system design expertise, we are enabling customers to accelerate their development of medical ventilator systems capable of operating in a home or hospital environment.”

Renesas helps designers address COVID-19 pandemic by providing nw reference design for ventilator systems. (Credit: Renesas)

Renesas’ says its 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 an 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.

Renesas system block diagram. (Credit: Renesas)