Lexington, Mass.-- STMicroelectronics has jumped into the 32-bit microcontroller standard products marketplace with the launching today (april 12) of its new STR710 and STR720 series of devices based on the ARM7 "Thumb" cores from ARM Holdings plc. The move is the latest evidence of how pervasive the ARM cores have become in the 32-bit microcontroller market.
"ST has over four years experience in building ARM-based products for ASIC and application-specific circuits. Now, we are introducing a standard microcontroller for the mass-market. We have a strong foothold in the market for 8- and 16-bit MCUs, and this new ARM family will enable us to expand into the 32-bit arena," said Y.U. Lee, General Manager of the Microcontroller Division.
The STR710 is based on the ARM7TDMI core and boasts embedded flash and low pin-count packages. These devices are targeted at STMicro's customers of its current 8-/16-bit products who want to step up to the power and flexibility of a 32-bit microcontroller that includes a rich set of on-chip peripherals while driving down total system cost. The STR720 series, based on the ARM720T core with cache, MMU, and an SDRAM interface, is intended for applications requiring performance and an open-system system memory architecture that easily supports advanced operating systems.
Both families eye industrial-control applications such as factory automation, point-of-sale and vending machines, and testing equipment, as well as mass-market telecom applications such as bridges and protocol translators.
In addition to having embedded flash memory with performance up to 48MHz and low latency for deterministic behavior in real-time applications, the devices offer operation over the industrial temperature range (-40C to +85C) and high connectivity using serial interfaces including CAN, USB, SPI, I2C, and UART.
"As technology makes bigger chips more affordable, we see growing interest from designers using 8- and 16-bit micros who want to use 32-bit solutions. With these ARM families, we are well positioned to gain a good share of this market," said Daniel Colonna, Marketing Director of ST's Microcontroller division. "Our strategy is to offer a comprehensive and wide portfolio of ARM devices. These two product families are only the beginning. We will be bringing new devices to market within 8 to 12 months and will expand the portfolio even more in the future with key innovations," said Colonna.
The STR71xF series features the ARM7 TDMI core with 32-bit and Thumb16-bit instruction sets, 3-stage pipeline, 32-bit ALU, and extensive debug facilities. Packed into the chips are from 16k to 64kbytes SRAM and from 128kbytes to 256kbytes of flash memory with fast random access time. The specs boast up to 48MHz and 0 wait states with acceleration and up to 30MHz and 0 wait states without acceleration, and with no penalty on context switch and branching. This allows deterministic behaviour in real-time applications.
There are up to 10 communication interfaces including I2C, SPI, UART, CAN, and USB, HDLC, MMC, and Smart Card interface; four Timers, real time clock, as well as a watchdog timer. There are four low-power modes, embedded regulator allowing a single 3.3V power supply; on-chip 12-bit A/D converter, up to 48 I/Os and a JTAG degug interface. The units are housed in a small low pin-count TQFP64 package without compromising feature set availability, or a TQFP144 package with external memory support.
The STR72x series features a high-performance 66MHz ARM720 core with 16/32-bit RISC architecture, cache, 32-bit ALU, and Memory Management Unit (MMU); 16kbytes high-speed internal SRAM; SDRAM interface and external memory interface (EMI) . Other features include six communication interfaces including SPI, UART, CAN, and USB; four low-power modes; an on-chip 14-bit A/D converter; up to 35 I/Os; JTAG Debug Interface and ETM trace. These units are housed in a PQFP208 package or larger BGA package with ETM support.
Through ST's partnership with ARM, ST is able to provide a low-cost RealView Developer Kit product specifically for the STR7xx series, based on the popular ARM RealView Developer Suite software and hardware solution.
Being an ARM-compatible microcontroller, the STR7xx series is also supported by efficient tools and development support environments provided by a range of traditional 32-bit tool providers including ARM, GreenHills, IAR, Hitex, and Ashling.
STMicroelectronics is sampling the two product families now. ST plans volume production for the fourth quarter of 2004. The highest capacity STR710Z2 flash product with 256kbyte flash/64kbyte SRAM in TQFP144 in 10,000 units is offered for $7.80.
The STR720RB product in PQFP208 package in 10,000 units is offered for $7.70.
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