STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), one of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers and a leader in ICs for automotive applications, has unveiled details of a new 8-bit microcontroller platform designed to offer outstanding levels of performance and cost-effectiveness in a wide range of applications. Implemented around a high-performance 8-bit core and a state-of-the-art set of peripherals, the STM8 platform will be manufactured using an ST-proprietary 130nm embedded non-volatile memory technology.
The STM8 platform will be the foundation for a number of distinct product families each optimized for specific application areas, including automotive, industrial, low voltage and battery-operated applications, as well as application-specific standard products. Each STM8 product family will deliver to customers the principal advantages of the new platform, including higher performance, increased robustness, short application design cycles, application design longevity and low total system cost.
The 8-bit MCU market, currently worth about $5 billion, is expected to continue showing healthy growth, with unit shipments expected to exceed 6500M in 2011 compared to 4400M in 2007. In automotive applications alone, for example, unit growth between 2007 and 2013 is expected to be around 40%. However, a key feature of the 8-bit MCU market is the pressure to reduce the cost of implementing solutions and the STM8 platform has been specifically designed to provide increased performance at significantly lower total system cost.
In performance, the STM8 leverages a Harvard architecture with 16-bit index registers and stack pointer, a 16Mbyte linear address space, advanced addressing modes and other features designed to optimally support C-programming to deliver leading-edge CPU performance in both speed and code density. The core reaches an average of 1.6 cycles per instruction with 20 MIPS of peak performance at 24MHz using a 3-stage pipeline.
The technology has been chosen with the aim of reducing system costs through a high integration level, the ability to embed non-volatile data memory and to provide excellent analog performance in a wide voltage range from 1.65V to 5.5V. For example, the I/O pads have been designed to withstand a high level of external disturbances, leading to robust applications without the expense of external protection elements. The STM8 platform offers real embedded EEPROM with a performance in endurance and retention comparable to those of external components, making complex Flash-based emulation strategies obsolete. The available on-chip Flash program memory sizes will range up to 256K. The technology options allow high-speed operation as well as drastically reduced power consumption. All these technological advantages will be available in automotive grade products that operate at temperatures of up to 145°C.
The STM8 peripherals are homogeneous across ST’s new 32-bit µC families such as the STM32 range, making the STM8 a perfect complement to ST’s 32-bit MCU portfolio. ST will introduce the first STM8 family in the first half of 2008.
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 2007, the Company’s net revenues were $10.0 billion.