Low-power MCUs offer up to 160Kb SRAM

Article By : EDN Asia

The STM32L4 devices feature active-mode current of 36µA/MHz to enable longer runtime on small batteries, according to STMicroelectronics.

STMicroelectronics has started the volume production of its low-power STM32L45x MCUs, supported by a development ecosystem based on the company's STM32Cube platform.

The STM32L451, STM32L452, and STM32L462 lines integrate a Digital Filter for Sigma-Delta Modulators (DFSDM), enabling advanced audio capabilities such as noise cancellation or sound localisation on an inexpensive microcontroller. Up to 512Kb on-chip Flash and 160Kb SRAM provide generous code and data storage, according to the company.

The new MCUs also feature a True Random-Number Generator (TRNG) that streamlines development of security-conscious applications such as connected smart devices. The STM32L462 further enhances support for developing secure devices by integrating an AES-256 cryptographic hardware accelerator.

Other features include smart analog peripherals such as a 12-bit 5Msample/s ADC, internal voltage reference and ultra-low-power comparators. There are multiple timers, a motor-control channel, temperature sensor, a capacitive-sensing interface, and the STM32L452 also has a crystal-less USB2.0 controller.

The development ecosystem includes the STM32CubeMX initialisation-code generator and STM32CubeL4 package comprising middleware components, Nucleo-64 Board-Support Package (BSP), Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) and Low-Layer APIs (LLAPIs). STM32CubeMX has a power-estimation wizard that assists low-power design and additional wizards for managing clock signals and pin assignments.

The Nucleo-64 board, NUCLEO-L452RE, provides an affordable and flexible way for users to try out new ideas and build prototypes. It integrates the ST-LINK/V2 probe-free debugger/programmer and can be expanded via Arduino-compatible headers.

The STM32L4 devices, which achieve the EEMBC CoreMark score of 273 and ULPBench score of 245, feature active-mode current of 36µA/MHz to enable longer runtime on small batteries and extend scope to create energy-neutral products powered from ambient sources.

Devices can be ordered in small-form-factor packages from QFN-48 to LQFP-100, including a 3.36mm x 3.66mm WLCSP. Prices start from $2.773 for the STM32L451CCU6 with 256Kb Flash and 160Kb SRAM in QFN-48, for orders of 10,000 pieces.

Prices for development boards start at $14 for the legacy-compatible Nucleo-64 board (NUCLEO-L452RE), which is available now. The NUCLEO-L452RE-P board with external DC/DC converter will be available to distributors in June 2017.

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