MOTION CONTROL: STMicroelectronics released details of new ultra low-cost 32-bit microcontrollers bringing the advantages of the STM32’s 32-bit advanced industry-standard core into applications served by lower-performing devices that lock developers into proprietary processor architectures.
Until now, engineers upgrading legacy 16-bit designs for higher performance and flexibility have had to choose from high-end alternatives that are featured for more complex applications. ST’s new STM32 Value Line remedies this by combining a 24MHz ARM® Cortex™-M3 processor core with peripheral features optimized for typical 16-bit applications such as home-entertainment products, appliances, and industrial equipment. At 24MHz with zero wait state embedded Flash memory access, the STM32 Value Line delivers up to 30 DMIPS, outperforming most of the 16-bit processors. The added advantage of its industry-standard processor, available in devices priced under $1, provides access to a large base of development knowledge and tools.
Application-focused features embedded in the STM32 Value Line include up to 12 16-bit timers, including a PWM timer for motor-control applications. As many as 26 timer channels are available, with package options providing up to 100 pins, as well as a 12-bit high-speed Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC), to solve a wide range of industrial control challenges. ST is also offering free software support, including a complete 3-phase motor-control library for appliance and motor-control applications and free VDE-certified libraries to help household appliances achieve necessary approval to EN/IEC60335-1 Class B.
The family also embeds hardware support for the Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) protocol included in the HDMI standard, thereby simplifying CEC implementation in products such as TVs, Blu-ray players, PVRs and home cinema equipment. CEC allows up to 10 HDMI devices to discover each other and communicate to manage user-convenience features such as one-touch control of multiple devices via a single remote. Implementing CEC in hardware also frees the processor core to perform extra high-level functions, thereby adding further value to developers’ applications.
In addition, a 12-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) allows developers to add audio support in a variety of applications such as security devices or home automation systems, and to address wider opportunities requiring analog waveform generation and control.
The STM32 Value Line microcontrollers are now sampling to lead customers. Volume production will begin from March 2010, at prices from $0.85 for 16Kbyte devices in 48-pin LQFP48 package and $1.44 for 64Kbyte devices in the 64-pin LQFP64 package, for quantities of 10,000 units.
-Edited by Kelsey Anderson