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ARM-based MCU line targets embedded apps

Posted: 24 May 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:stmicroelectronics? st? arm? str710f? microcontroller?

STMicroelectronics has beefed-up its 32bit ARM-based STR710F microcontroller (MCU) family for high-performance, cost-sensitive applications needing fewer on-chip facilities and to embedded systems that will benefit from increased on-chip RAM. The new MCUs will reduce costs, allow greater design flexibility, and enable manufacturers to produce a range of STR7-based products at different performance levels, according to the company.

For applications that require the performance of an STR7 microcontroller but have a limited amount of program code, ST is introducing lower-cost 64kB flash versions of both the USB (STR711) and the CAN interface (STR712) devices. Both of the new devices retain the 16kB data-flash memory of other family members and include 16KB of RAM. They are available in a 64-pin TQFP64 package.

Other cost-sensitive applications that don't need either USB or CAN interfaces can now utilize the new STR715, a lower-cost MCU with 64KB of code flash memory, 16KB of data flash and 16KB of RAM, but with no USB or CAN module. This cost-optimized 32bit MCU is available in a TQFP64 package and specifically addresses small-footprint, low-cost applications such as industrial systems and consumer appliances that need a versatile and high-performance processor, but not USB or CAN.

ST has now doubled the on-chip RAM of all of the mid-range, 128KB flash versions in the STR710F family from 16KB to 32KB, optimizing the RAM/Flash balance of these devices, minimizing any memory constraints during code development, and opening up new possibilities for more complex applications. The memory choices in the family are now 256KB of code flash with 64KB of RAM, 128KB of flash with 32KB of RAM, and 64KB of flash with 16KB of RAM; all devices include 16KB of data flash memory.

The STR710F family, based on the ARM7TDMI 32bit RISC CPU, is ideal for embedded systems requiring a compact but powerful MCU, and for scalable solutions such as user interfaces, factory-automation systems and point-of-sale (POS) applications. It offers random access time to flash memory, up to 33MHz direct from Flash and up to 50MHz, with zero-wait states for sequential code, using burst acceleration, and is therefore optimized for real-time applications. The family offers up to ten communications interfaces, including CAN, USB, HDLC (High-Level Data Link Control), MMC (Multimedia Card) and a smart-card interface.

Flexible package options include the compact, low-pin-count TQFP64, and a 144-pin TQFP144 with external memory bus. A choice of cost-effective, state-of-the-art hardware and software development tools includes an ARM RealView Developer Kit targeted specifically at the company's STR7 family.

All of the new MCUs are available in sample quantities, and will enter volume production by the end of Q2 2005. Pricing is approximately $5.50 in quantities of 10,000 for the STR711 and STR712 members of the family; and approximately $4.60, also in quantities of 10,000, for the STR715.

- Marty Gold


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