STMicroelectronics Enters Production with New STM32 F0 Microcontrollers Targeting Budget Applications

High-volume availability, plus engineering essentials leveraging STM32 'DNA', catalyzes design starts with advanced ARM® Cortex™-M0 family

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronic applications and a world leader in microcontrollers, has begun volume production of its 32-bit STM32 F0 microcontroller series launched in February 2012 to bridge the gap to high-end features in 8- and 16-bit applications.

With a dedicated Discovery Kit also available, and leveraging the extensive STM32 development ecosystem, engineers now have everything they need to use ST's new microcontrollers featuring the ARM® Cortex™-M0 processor in cost-sensitive consumer and industrial products.

"Now entering production, perfectly on schedule, our STM32 F0 series has achieved an important milestone, enabling ST customers to lead development of competitively priced, low-power end products delivering enhanced performance and value," said Michel Buffa, General Manager for ST's Microcontroller Division.

Developers can purchase the STM32F0 Discovery Kit to start new projects based on STM32 F0 devices. The kit contains a prototype microcontroller board featuring pushbuttons and indicator LEDs, which plugs directly into a PC's USB port and is supported by demonstration code and sample firmware. The kit is compatible with STM32 software development environments from leading third-party vendors Atollic, IAR, Keil™, and TASKING.

STM32 F0 microcontrollers take advantage of the modern ARM Cortex-M0 32-bit embedded processor architecture, enabling product developers to break traditional price and performance limitations imposed by older, proprietary 8-bit and 16-bit devices. Pin compatibility, in addition to software, peripherals and development-tools compatibility across more than 300 device variants now available in all STM32 Cortex-M0, Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4 series enhances flexibility and scalability, and can help reduce development costs and time to market for new products. In addition, the STM32 F0 series integrates high-value features not found in Cortex-M0 microcontrollers from competing suppliers.

Differentiating the STM32 F0 ARM Cortex-M0 series:
Differentiating features of ST's STM32 F0 devices include built-in hardware RAM-parity checking, which simplifies compatibility with Class-B Industry safety standard for home appliance applications and enhances real-time application performance. A Clock Security System (CSS) is also integrated, which enhances the reliability of the application. In addition, advanced timing capabilities with dead-time generation and inverted channels help designers overcome common challenges when designing motor controls.

The devices also integrate hardware touch-sensing control and a 12-bit Analog/Digital Converter (ADC) capable of up to 1Msample/s conversion, which is more than twice the speed supported by some competing devices. Other features include a 12-bit Digital/Analog Converter (DAC), and two tightly coupled programmable analog comparators. This outstanding analog integration, in a low-cost microcontroller family, enables developers to target applications requiring precision high-speed sensing and control across multiple channels.

STM32 F0 devices also integrate a hardware Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) module allowing connections to other home multimedia devices using the latest industry-standard protocols while leaving the microcontroller's CPU, memory and peripherals free to perform other tasks.

With four low-power modes, including a 5.3µA STOP mode and a 2.8µA STANDBY mode with the real-time clock running, the energy-conscious STM32 F0 family simplifies deployment and extends battery life in applications such as remote controls, sensor networks and smart meters.

High-performance communication features include a Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) with support for programmable data frame up to 16 bits and baud rate up to 18Mbit/s, as well as an I2C port supporting Fast mode+ communication at up to 1Mbit/s. Also, activity on the I2C port can wake the microcontroller from STOP mode on address match.

Further advantages for engineers include reduced constraints for easy communication clock setting. Programmable analog and digital noise filtering ensure robust communication. There is also a 6Mbit/s USART with support for multiple clock input options, capable of operating independently from the main processor clock frequency.

Prices and availability:
The STM32 F0 is in mass production now, offering embedded memory densities from 16Kbyte to 64Kbyte Flash and 4Kbyte to 8Kbyte SRAM and UFQFPN32, LQFP48 and LQFP64 package options. An additional 20-pin in 16kbyte Flash configuration and extension to 128Kbyte Flash in a 100-pin package will soon be available. Resale prices for STM32 F0 microcontrollers start from $0.95 in quantities of 1000 pieces.

The STM32F0 Discovery Kit is available from ST sales offices and from distributors, priced at $7.99.

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