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ST rolls MCUs, outs dev kit with on-board 9-axis MEMS

Posted: 13 Sep 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS sensor? STM32 F3 Discovery Kit? gyroscope? e-compass? LSM303DLHC?

STMicroelectronics has announced what it says is an innovative easy-access development platform for projects based on its new high-performance STM32 F3 MCUs. The development platform, the STM32 F3 Discovery Kit, features built-in MEMS sensorsgyroscope and e-compasswith nine degrees of freedom (DOF), enabling competitively priced sensor-fusion applications such as Attitude Heading Reference Systems (AHRS) by leveraging the advanced signal processing and arithmetic capabilities of the MCUs, said the company.

Sensor fusion and powerful computational capabilities enable designers to realize advanced 3D motion-sensing systems in applications such as mobile gaming, augmented reality, optical image stabilization, portable navigation, robotics and industrial automated systems, ST indicated.

The STM32 F3 Discovery Kit contains everything engineers need to start all types of projects using the STM32 F3 MCU. The kit includes a ready-to-use prototype board containing an STM32F303 MCU and associated chips, as well as indicator LEDs, push-button controls, I/O pin headers and a USB connection for the host PC. All of the microcontroller pins are brought out to accessible points, which aids testing and debugging. The MEMS devices provided on the board are the L3GD20 3-axis digital gyroscope and LSM303DLHC 6-axis geomagnetic module from ST's MEMS portfolio of sensors and iNEMO inertial modules. The STM32 F3 Discovery Kit is compatible with STM32 software-development environments from leading third-party vendors, including Altium, Atollic, IAR and Keil.

All STM32 F3 devices announced in June 2012 are starting to enter full production in Q3, including the STM32F30x series as well as the STM32F37x.

The STM32F30x MCUs combine the high computational resources of the ARM Cortex-M4 processor, which has a digital signal processor (DSP) and floating-point unit (FPU), with advanced peripherals. This is an ideal processor for use with MEMS sensors in high-performance sensor-fusion applications, providing the ability to perform floating-point matrix operations for efficient execution of 3D orientation software such as AHRS algorithms, said ST.

The peripherals available in STM32F30x devices include four 12bit 5Msps ADCs. Also included on-chip are seven 50ns fast comparators, four programmable-gain amplifiers (PGAs) with one percent accuracy, two 12bit DACs and two advanced timers that can be used to control two motors simultaneously or can be used in applications such as digital power supplies, data servers or solar micro-inverters.

The STM32F3 Discovery Kit is available in the coming weeks, at the recommended resale price of $10.90. Prices for the STM32F30x series range from $2.54 to $3.86. The STM32F37x starts from $2.24 up to $3.69. All prices are for orders over 1,000 pieces. Other pricing options for higher quantities are available on request.

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