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Cellphone-like prototyping tool stimulates creativity

Posted: 12 Feb 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:handheld tool prototyping? design embedded? prototyping cellphone like?

STM32 Primer2

STMicroelectronics' STM32 Primer2 looks like a cellphone, has a zoomy color touchscreen and even contains powerful audio capabilitiesbut cellphone it isn't.

Instead, the device actually enables product designers prove ideas quickly and independently by adding rich features to a series of self-contained handheld platforms for embedded design.

The latest STM32 Primer2 has a 128pixel x160pixel color touchscreen, joystick/push button, extension connector and pre-loaded sample applications. There's also a built-in USB port, a MicroSD card slot and other features such as an accelerometer and an IR transmitter/receiver, allowing users to quickly add extra capabilities and functions to their applications. All of these components are easy to manage through the built-in software framework, the open-source CircleOS.

ST's STM32 Primer for collaborative embedded development allows users to quickly turn a concept into an attractive-looking demonstrator. This is increasingly important for product innovators. A range of existing applications and an online community STM32Circle of approximately 6,000 developers stimulate ideas and creativity. Using the STM32 Primer2, users can present a high-quality prototype, rather than a boring conventional engineering development board, creating a better first impression (and having fun).

ST first introduced Primer-based development with the ST7 Ultralite Primer with features including a buzzer, light-sensor and music applications. The first STM32 Primer was introduced in late 2007 and offered a design featuring a 128pixel x128pixel screen. Over 10,000 units have been shipped. The STM32 Primer2 adds extra benefits such as the larger screen with touch sensing and Li-ion battery.

The STM32 Primers come with the Raisonance Ride7 application development software and the GNU C compiler. This allows embedded designers to use the Primer platform for complete development of complex end products. All necessary design resources are included, including source code for the pre-loaded applications, as well as software libraries for peripherals such as MEMS position sensors, the touchscreen and embedded audio components of the STM32 Primer2. The STM32 Primer2 also has a 20-pin external connector allowing easy connection of external circuit boards.

The device is in production now, and is available from all ST distributors at a recommended price of $49 each.

- Carolyn Mathas
Mobile Handset DesignLine

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