LONDON – STMicroelectronics NV has released a development platform for the STM32 F3 family of microcontrollers.
The STM32 F3 Discovery kit features built in MEMS sensors – gyroscope and e-compass – with 9 degrees of freedom (DOF). This enables the development of sensor-fusion applications such as altitude heading reference systems.
3-D motion sensing systems can be used in applications such as mobile gaming, augmented reality, optical image stabilization, portable navigation, robotics and industrial automated systems, ST said.
The kit includes a ready-to-use prototype board containing an STM32F303 microcontroller and associated chips, as well as indicator LEDs, push-button controls, I/O pin headers, and a USB connection for the host PC. All of the microcontroller pins are brought out to accessible points, which aids testing and debugging. The MEMS devices provided on the board are the L3GD20 3-axis digital gyroscope and LSM303DLHC 6-axis geomagnetic module from ST’s large MEMS portfolio of sensors and iNemo inertial modules. The STM32 F3 Discovery Kit is compatible with STM32 software-development environments from leading third-party vendors, including Altium, Atollic, IAR and Keil.
All STM32 F3 devices announced in June 2012 are entering volume production in Q3, including the STM32F30x series as well as the STM32F37x, ST said.
The STM32F30x microcontrollers include the ARM Cortex-M4 core, which has a digital signal processor and floating-point unit along with peripheral circuits. The ability to perform floating-point matrix operations allows efficient execution of 3-D orientation algorithms. The peripherals available in STM32F30x devices include four 12-bit 5Msps analog-to-digital converters, seven 50-ns level comparators, four programmable-gain Amplifiers with 1 percent accuracy, two 12-bit digital-to-analog converters (DACs), and two timers that can be used to control two motors simultaneously or can be used in applications such as digital power supplies, data servers, or solar micro-inverters.
The STM32F37x series delivers a different blend of peripherals including one, up to three 16-bit Sigma-Delta ADCs.
The STM32F3 Discovery Kit is available in the coming weeks, at the recommended resale price of $10.90. Prices for the STM32F30x series range from $2.54 to $3.86. The STM32F37x starts from $2.24 up to $3.69. All prices are for orders over 1,000 pieces. Other pricing options for higher quantities are available on request.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.