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ST claims low-cost MCUs suited for 32bit design

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:8bit? 32bit? microcontrollers?

Geneva-based STMicroelectronics has released its new line of microcontrollers based on the ARM Cortex-M0 core running at 48MHz. At $0.32 for high-volume orders, ST claims its STM32F030 Value Line is ideal for lower-budget projects while offering access to a full portfolio of hardware- and software-compatible 32bit MCUs.

Unlike similar competing devices, the STM32F030 enables 8bit price parity without compromising performance or features, such as a lower core speed or reduced peripherals. "This price reduction is the result of an extensive rework of the device specifications and package type selection to keep all device functionalities except for some reductions. These reductions do not interfere in most cases with customer application requirements. If they do, there is always the option of using the non-Value Line MCU version in the same product line," Franck Martins, Senior MCU Marketing & Application Manager for South Asia, told EE Times Asia.

Franck Martins, Senior MCU Marketing & Application Manager for South Asia, STMicroelectronics

Martins: The Value Line model allows our customers to more accurately pay for only what is needed while enjoying additional benefits like more memory, IOs.

Central to ST's new Value Line concept is a strong base specification that effectively streamlines component selection and product differentiation. The STM32F030 line of products begins at 16KB Flash and 4KB RAM in a 20 pin package, and comprises a total of five parts up to 64KB Flash, 8KB RAM and 32, 48 or 64 pin packages.

All variants feature a 12bit 1Msample/s ADC, 1.2V internal reference, communication peripherals, temperature sensor and timers capable of supporting ADC synchronisation, dead-time management, and pulse-width modulation timing for motor control. In addition to 48MHz core frequency, these rich peripherals set the STM32F030 Value Line apart from other entry-level 32bit families. An internal RTC and 5-channel direct memory access, which are features not typically available in other microcontrollers at this price level, also help ease application development and improve performance.

"This new product line makes the benefits of 32bit development more accessible to entry-level applications. Engineers can work efficiently at a high level of abstraction and simplify their software by leveraging the enhanced hardware features," said Michel Buffa, General Manager Microcontroller Division.

Moreover, developers gain entry to ST's full portfolio of ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers, which includes more than 360 variants leveraging extensive pin, software and peripherals compatibility between Cortex-M0, M3 and M4 families. "It is all about performance gains on the technology (speed, lower power), power processing (DMIPS) as well as the latest available features, on top of moving to a more open development platform with a very large technical community as opposed to 8bit and 16bit proprietary core solutions," said Martins.

The STM32F030 targets similar applications that the STM32F05x mainstream product line caters to but offers options for the 8 and 16bit domains where end products are evolving to higher performance and more feature requirements.

ST is now taking sample orders for the STM32F030 Value line. Volume production is planned to begin in Q3 2013.





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