STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, has unveiled a comprehensive STM32F4 development ecosystem comprising important new tools and embedded software, at the same time as commencing volume production of the new STM32F4 microcontrollers that began sampling earlier in 2013.
The development ecosystem includes a full offer from ST, including new STM32 Discovery Kits and full-featured STM32F4x9 evaluation boards as well as software solutions like STM32-JAVA Java and the STemWin free graphical stack based on the Segger emWin solution, which leverages the LCD-TFT controller and dedicated Chrom-ART accelerator of the STM32F4x7/4×9 microcontrollers. Advanced audio IP including codecs and sound-processing algorithms is also available from ST. Extended solutions from ST partners include IAR Experiment! Magnetometer and game-controller kits, as well as the Raisonance EvoPrimer ecosystem. Standard development environments are supported from Atollic, IAR, Keil/ARM, Raisonance, and Tasking. Boards will be orderable from distributors or ST’s e-STore before the end of October 2013.
The high-performance STM32F429/439 series now entering production has the industry’s highest-performing ARM® Cortex™-M4 core, at 180MHz, able to achieve 225DMIPS (Dhrystone MIPS) and 608 CoreMark (EEMBC Coremark benchmark) scores using industry-standard performance metrics thanks to the ST adaptive real-time accelerator (ART Accelerator) allowing zero-wait execution from Flash. These devices offer up to 2Mbyte of dual-bank Flash allowing safe system upgrades in the field, ST’s unique Chrom-ART Accelerator™ giving customers a competitive edge in graphics processing, and an integrated TFT-LCD controller.
The STM32F427/437 series is also entering full production, upgraded with the 180MHz core, dual-bank memory, and other features of the STM32F429/439 excluding the TFT-LCD controller.
Also entering volume production is the STM32F401 microcontroller announced in April 2013. The device balances high performance (105 DMIPS and 285 CoreMark, and zero-wait Flash execution with the ART Accelerator), power efficiency and high feature integration in packages as small as 3x3mm.
Further Details on Development Support:
In addition, developers using the STM32F429/39 can already use the STM32429I-EVAL full-featured evaluation board for the STM32F429, which features a 4.3-inch display, or the STM32439I-EVAL for STM32F439, which has a 5.7-inch display.
A complete audio IP package is available on request from ST, containing functions ranging from codecs optimized for STM32F4, such as MP3, WMA, AAC and voice codecs to sound-processing algorithms leveraging the high performance of the STM32F429/F439. These include smart volume control, filters for loudness, bass mix and other controls, and stereo widening and synchronization utilities such as sample-rate converters and clock-drift compensation.
Among dedicated STM32F4 tools from third-party vendors, the STM32F429 standalone daughter board will join the Raisonance EvoPrimer ecosystem. The board will be for use with the Raisonance EvoPrimer base, which provides features such as the debugging/programming interface and most of the hardware needed to evaluate the target microcontroller.
IAR’s new low-cost Experiment! kits will also be orderable from ST. These include a magnetometer kit that can be used to identify magnetic fields and to display information on a 1.53 x 1.38” LCD and a game controller kit equipped with a 1.8 x 1.6” LCD as well as some gaming examples. A new IAR Starter Kit will complete the offer.
The dedicated STemWin free graphical stack developed by ST in partnership with Segger is based on Segger’s proven emWin embedded graphics stack. STemWin leverages the LCD-TFT controller and Chrom-ART accelerator, and comes with a PC design tool supporting high-performance GUI development. Further information can be found at www.st.com/stemwin.
In addition, for Java developers, the ST Java solution initially made by partner IS2T (ST part number STM32-JAVA), also takes full advantage of the STM32F429/39 LCD-TFT controller and Chrom-ART accelerator, and can be used with the evaluation boards and Discovery Kits for these devices. Further information is available at www.st.com/stm32-java and www.stm32java.com .
These innovative new tools add to the support for STM32F4 now available in standard development environments from third-party providers including Atollic, IAR, Keil/ARM, Raisonance and Tasking.
Many of these tools, including third-party evaluation boards, can already be ordered from distributors. All are expected to be orderable by the end of October 2013.
STM32F4 Further Technical Information:
All of the STM32F4 devices are extremely power efficient, helping simplify design and extend battery life in portable applications. ST’s advanced 90nm process and advanced production and design techniques minimize the current drawn in all active and power-saving modes. STM32F427/37 and STM32F429/39 devices consume as little as 260µA/MHz (typical) at 180MHz and 100μA (typical) in STOP mode (which is three times lower than the STOP mode consumption of previous STM32F4 devices). The STM32F401 entry-level high-performance microcontroller achieves 137µA/MHz at 84MHz and just 11µA typical in STOP mode.
The 1Mbyte or 2Mbyte dual-bank Flash available in the STM32F429/39 series and now also the STM32F427/37 allows read-while-write operations, allowing extra flexibility for application designers and helping protect memory contents. An application can run normally while an update is downloaded to be applied safely at a later time.
Both series also include an external memory interface for SDRAM modules, featuring a 32-bit wide data bus and operation up to 90MHz. This allows embedded-system designers to use SDRAM as a cost-effective and high-performing alternative to SRAM external memories.
ST’s Chrom-ART Accelerator™ featured in the STM32F429/39 and STM32F427/37 series integrates a hardware block for faster graphics processing for either TFT,serial or parallel display interfaces. It enables richer graphics and boosts application performance by offloading the Cortex-M4 core and performing operations such as pixel-format conversion at twice the speed of software.
In addition, the I2S TDM (Inter-IC Sound Time Division Multiplex) interface provides state-of-the-art digital audio connectivity allowing multi-channel audio designs.
The STM32F429/39 and STM32F427/37 series also feature advanced memory protection, which allows restricted execution-only access to Flash memory sectors thereby helping software-IP providers, silicon providers and customers protect firmware against illegal copying.