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Cortex-M3 implementation rolls from ST

Posted: 13 Jun 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Cortex M3 core? flash memory? 32bit core?

STM32 product from ST

For embedded applications, STMicroelectronics (ST) has implemented its own versions of ARM's Cortex-M3 32bit core. With the move, ST cashes in on its early participation in the Cortex-M3 development.

The STM32 product family will be offered in two separate lines, addressing different customer needs. The 'Performance' line sports clock frequencies of up to 72MHz while the 'Access' line with clock frequencies of up to 36MHz aims at users looking for a device in the price range of 16bit MPUs, the vendor explained.

Both lines can execute programs from embedded flash memory of up to 128Kbytes. ST claims that the power consumption for both lines will be the lowest in the 32bit market with a power consumption of 0.5mA per MHz.

The Cortex M3 core was specifically developed to target low-cost requirements for a broad range of applications, ST explained. The processor features a nested vector-interrupt controller with a minimum inter-interrupt latency of 6 CPU cycles. Another feature is 'atomic bit manipulation', allowing individual bits to be modified. The architecture also supports the Thumb-2 instruction set which is known for excellent code density and realtime behavior.

Depending on the specific implementation, STM32 will be available with a broad range of integrated peripheral subsystems such as flash memory, RAM, ADCs, interfaces and timers. With this variety, ST tries to address not only designers of industrial PLCs, domestic appliances or consumer applications but also emerging technology markets such as mobile healthcare monitoring systems where low power consumption is an important factor, the company said.

The device family is supported by development tools from ST and third party vendors. Among the tools available include an evaluation board, a USB developer's kit and a free software library from ST. Starter kits will be available soon from third party vendors including Hitex, IAR, Keil and Raisonance.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
EE Times Europe

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