STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a world leader in microcontrollers, has increased both the scalability and peripheral options of its breakthrough 32-bit STM32 MCU family. Unveiled by ST in June 2007, the STM32 MCU has since reaped significant success with design wins and production ramp-up at many industry leaders in a wide range of high-volume applications. The company is now expanding the family to provide up to 512 Kbytes of on-chip Flash, larger SRAM and extra features for displays, sound, storage and advanced control. The STM32 family is built on the 32-bit ARM® Cortex[tm]-M3 CPU, and combines low power consumption with multiple power-saving modes for optimal performance in products such as industrial equipment, building-services controllers, medical devices and computer peripherals.
ST has added 28 new devices to the STM32 family, including devices in 36-pin packages at the low end and 144-pin packages at the high end. Compatibility of pin assignments, peripherals and software across all STM32 devices remains a core technical feature throughout this extended family of microcontrollers. The latest MCUs provide 256 Kbytes, 384 Kbytes or 512 Kbytes of embedded Flash for code and data storage, enabling developers to implement new features and enhance the capabilities of existing product platforms. Embedded SRAM has also been increased, to 64 Kbyte for the 72MHz Performance Line variants, and 48 Kbytes for the 36MHz Access Line devices. The Access Line is engineered to encourage entry to 32-bit design for cost-constrained applications, or 16-bit designs.
Extra peripherals embedded in MCUs with 256 Kbytes and larger Flash memories include a Flexible Static-Memory Controller (FSMC) supporting NOR and NAND Flash, SRAM, and CompactFlash memories. The FSMC also supports Intel 8080 and Motorola 6800 modes for parallel interface with LCD controllers. These MCUs also feature a host interface for removable media including SD (Secure Digital), SDIO (Secure Digital Input/Output) and MMC (MultiMediaCard), meeting MultiMediaCard System Specification 4.42 for 8-bit data transfer at 48MHz.
In addition, an I2S port supporting master and slave modes and audio-sampling frequencies from 8kHz to 48kHz has been added, as well as a 2-channel 12-bit DAC and an Embedded Trace Macrocell (ETM) to enhanced debug capabilities. Additional standard peripherals are included with a combination of up to five UARTs/USARTs and three SPI and two I2C bus interfaces. This new combination of peripherals allows the STM32 family to address new markets that require superior connectivity and additional control.
The new STM32 devices are available in LQFP64, LQFP/BGA100 and LQFP144/BGA144 packages. For lower memory-density versions, featuring 32 Kbytes or 64 Kbytes of Flash, a new QFN36, the smallest 6 x 6mm package in the STM32 family, has also been introduced, thereby supporting extended platform scalability for developers seeking a cost-effective common-hardware strategy for multiple market opportunities.
In addition, the new Performance Line MCUs, with 256 Kbytes to 512 Kbytes of Flash, now include an extra PWM timer, offering two timers with seven outputs and dead-time control. These two PWM timers combine up to four standard 16-bit timers to allow support of up to twenty-eight PWM signals using the largest package. With an extra 12-bit ADC, these devices provide up to 21 channels of ADC with triple sample-and-hold capability. This gives the STM32 dual motor-control capabilities, to enable it to drive two 3-phase brushless motors at the same time for air-conditioning units and applications requiring four-wheel drive, for example. All Performance Line MCUs also include a USB port and CAN interface.
In all, the STM32 product range now comprises 46 different Performance Line and Access Line devices. The STM32 environment allows developers to build applications on a standard core, drawing on a large ecosystem of software and tools. Support for developers includes a new ST evaluation board for the latest models introduced, software and firmware libraries, and a wide variety of compatible third-party tools.
The latest STM32 MCUs in the QFN36 package are in volume production and devices with 256 Kbytes and larger Flash memories are currently being sampled. Distribution pricing, in quantities of 10,000, for the STM32 MCUs is: $3.72 for 256 Kbytes of Flash in an LQFP64 and $5.88 for 512 Kbytes of Flash in an LQFP144 (Access Line); and $4.31 for 256 Kbytes of Flash in an LQFP64 and $6.51 for 512 Kbytes of Flash in an LQFP144 (Performance Line). The full family starts at 32 Kbytes and distribution pricing in quantities of 10,000 is: $1.80 for a 32-Kbyte Flash MCU (Access Line) and $2.20 for a 32-Kbyte Flash MCU (Performance Line) in a QFN36 package.
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.