DSP, Micros & Memory


ST ups the ante with new high-end MCUs

25 November 2020 DSP, Micros & Memory

STMicroelectronics has revealed record-breaking STM32 microcontrollers (MCUs) with embedded Flash that bring high-end features such as rich graphics, AI, and state-of-the-art cyber-protection to cost-sensitive new products.

The new STM32H7 MCUs build on the Arm Cortex-M7 core and operate at 550 MHz, the fastest core speed in the market among MCUs that integrate Flash storage on-chip to run deeply embedded applications. These single-core devices, which are available with up to 1 MB of Flash, deliver increased performance with affordability for cost-conscious applications.

At the same time, the devices can interact with off-chip storage while ensuring full execution performance and security. Their benchmark performance figures of 2778 CoreMark and 1177 DMIPS are realised whether working from internal or external memory, aided by features such as the Flexible Memory Controller (FMC) and Octal SPI memory interface. This lets designers tackle memory-hungry applications, such as high-resolution, full-colour graphics and video that demand a large frame buffer, to create new products that deliver more sophisticated and immersive user experiences.

Further assisting the creation of full-colour user interfaces, the TouchGFX graphic framework STM32Cube Expansion Package (X-CUBE-TOUCHGFX) and TouchGFX Designer programming tool are available free of charge.

Advanced features powered by AI technology can be developed thanks to the STM32Cube ecosystem and STM32Cube.AI (X-CUBE-AI) to port neural networks and leverage computer vision through the parallel camera interface. By connecting the STM32H7 to one or multiple sensors, condition monitoring and other machine learning techniques will also help bring added value to the STM32-based product.

As part of the STM32Trust security suite, cyber-protection is enhanced with support for on-the-fly decryption (OTFDEC) and secure firmware install (SFI). OTFDEC enables encrypted code to be executed from external memory. SFI lets OEMs order standard products anywhere in the world, to be programmed only with encrypted code. These two solutions effectively safeguard OEMs’ intellectual property in Flash memory.

Out-of-the-box security features include support for secure boot, symmetric (by hardware or software library) encryption, and cryptographic key provisioning. Asymmetric encryption (by software library) is also available. Cryptographic processing is handled with a true random number generator, hardware acceleration for AES-128, AES-192 and AES-256 encryption, and support for GCM and CCM2, Triple DES, and hash (MD5, SHA-1 and SHA-2) algorithms.

Several key features deliver important advantages in industrial applications, including an integrated switched-mode power supply (SMPS) that overcomes dissipation constraints to allow extended-temperature operation up to 125°C. In addition, fault resilience is provided through error correction (ECC) for all memories.

ST has updated the STM32 development ecosystem to let users get started quickly with the new devices. Flexible prototyping and demonstrations can leverage the STM32H735G-DK Discovery kit, while the NUCLEO-H723ZG Nucleo-144 board provides an affordable option for quickly building prototypes and proof-of-concept models. The latest STM32H7 MCUs are also supported in the STM32Cube ecosystem, which comprises tools, embedded software, and middleware including graphics libraries, communication stacks, and application-code examples such as motor control, AI, and advanced security.

The MCUs’ capabilities can also be exercised using appropriate software tools for application and security development published by Arm Keil and IAR Systems.

The new STM32H7 devices introduced are the STM32H723/733, STM32H725/735, and STM32H730 Value-Line MCUs, which are available in various package options.

For more information contact Renaldo Fibiger, Altron Arrow, +27 11 923 9600, rfibiger@arrow.altech.co.za, www.altronarrow.com


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