Dev boards from ST speed up embedded design

Article By : EDN Asia

The latest devices belonging to the STM32F7 MCU series flaunt up to 2Mbyte of on-chip Flash memory and peripherals that help create rich user interfaces without the need for a microprocessor unit.

STMicroelectronics has announced what it describes as entry-level, mid-range and high-end development boards for the latest members of its STM32F7 MCU series. The solutions have entered volume production with up to 2Mbyte of on-chip Flash memory and peripherals that expedite the development of rich user interfaces, the company stated.

Providing timely support for design starts, the development tools include a low-cost STM32 Nucleo-144 board featuring the STM32F767 variant. Also available is a Discovery Kit supporting the STM32F769, which has TFT-LCD and MIPI-DSI support. In addition, there are highly featured evaluation boards for the STM32F769 and the STM32F779, which has a cryptographic accelerator for security-conscious applications. The evaluation boards and Discovery Kit also come with a 4in QWVGA 800×400 MIPI-DSI display featuring a capacitive touchscreen.

Developers using the STM32F7 hardware platforms can take advantage of extensive software support that comprises the STM32CubeMX initialisation tool and STM32CubeF7 embedded software package including Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) and middleware components like the FreeRTOS real-time operating system, USB library, and lwIP (lightweight IP) open-source TCP/IP stack.

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The STM32F7 ecosystem enables developers to create MCU applications with sophisticated user interfaces that formerly required the resources of a microprocessor unit (MPU). The MCU devices, which are based on the 216MHz/462DMIPS/1082 CoreMark ARM Cortex-M7 core with double-precision floating-point unit and DSP instructions, combine enhanced graphics capabilities with extensive connectivity through: ST’s Chrom-ART Accelerator and a hardware JPEG accelerator for high-speed graphics rendering; support for TouchGFX that allows high-performance graphics and touch at minimal CPU loading; and support for Embedded Wizard that allows high-performance graphics and comes with a PC-based utility that helps build GUIs using graphical tools and drag & drop actions.

In addition, the devices feature: STemWin professional graphics library and development tools; support for USB2.0 with OTG; CAN2.0 port and Ethernet with IEEE 1588 time-stamping ideal for industrial applications; HDMI Consumer-Electronics Control (CEC), a camera interface and dual-mode Quad-SPI interface to high-speed off-chip memory; Multiple 16bit and 32bit timers and 12bit 2MSPS ADCs; and audio features including 12bit DACs, I2S (Inter-IC Sound) serial interface with Phase-Locked Loop (PLL) support, digital filters for a sigma-delta modulator, and an S/PDIF receiver.

The STM32F769I-EVAL and STM32F779I-EVAL evaluation boards are priced at $360, while the $79 Discovery Kit (STM32F769I-DISCO) and the $23 STM32 Nucleo-144 board (NUCLEO-F767ZI) enable extremely low-cost design starts. All are available and can be ordered directly from ST or distributors.

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