STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) announced a new ultra-low-cost series of Flash microcontrollers (MCUs) intended for highly cost-sensitive products such as electric bicycles (ebikes), air conditioning, small appliances and sensors. The ST7FOX series includes devices with from 2KB to 8KB of on-chip Flash memory, and with eight to 32 pins, all of which are priced below the critical 50 cent ($0.50) threshold.
Part of the well-established and popular ST7 family of MCUs, built on an industry-standard 8-bit architecture, the new devices achieve their remarkably low unit cost with a simplified feature set, while maintaining the benefits of a robust and proven technology. ST7FOX operates at +5V (plus or minus 10%) power supply, and includes a relaxed RC oscillator which can be calibrated within the application.
The CISC (complex instruction set computer) architecture is a significant advantage for the production of compact code matching the small memory footprint of the family’s devices, with nested interrupt management and a variety of addressing modes in the core architecture simplifying high level language coding.
ST7FOX is designed to satisfy the increasing needs in the industry for reliable low-end and very low-cost MCUs for use in cost-critical applications. However its upgrade path to the easy-to-use ST7Lite family – itself a cost-effective solution – also enables manufacturers to build scalable product families to address broader markets.
The very low pricing enables designers to implement a microcontroller solution to replace electromechanical or logic-based control, and for the same cost as ROM devices this Flash-based family will ease inventory management and simplify the supply-chain.A free integrated development environment (IDE), including a C compiler, minimizes costs for developers.
Samples of ST7FOX are available now in: 8-pin DIP or SO-8 packaged devices with 2-Kbytes of Flash, and 32-pin DIP or LQFP devices with 4-Kbytes of Flash. All are priced at less than $0.50 in large quantities.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2006, the Company’s net revenues were $9.85 billion and net earnings were $782 million.