Stm32 microcontrollers - Black keyhole

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Stm32 microcontrollers

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Introduction

The STM32 family of microcontrollers from STMicroelectronics is based on the ARM Cortex-M 32-bit processor architecture. The STM32 series has some of the most popular microcontrollers used in a wide variety of products. They also have an excellent support base from multiple microcontroller development forums.
STM32 microcontrollers offer a large number of serial and parallel communication peripherals which can be interfaced with all kinds of electronic components including sensors, displays, cameras, motors, etc. All STM32 variants come with internal Flash and RAM memories.
The range of performance available with the STM32 is quite expansive. Some of the most basic variants include the STM32F0 and STM32F1 sub-series that start with a clock frequency of only 24 MHz, and are available in packages with as low as 16 pins.
At the other performance extreme, the STM32H7 operates at up to 400 MHz, and is available in packages with as many as 240 pins. The more advanced models are available with Floating Point Units (FPU) for applications with serious numerical processing requirements. These more advanced models blur the line between a microcontroller and a microprocessor.
Finally, the STM32L sub-series is designed specifically for low-power portable applications running from a small battery.


Applications of Microcontrollers

It has many applications of electronic equipment such as

  • Mobile phones
  • Automobiles
  • Cameras
  • Washing machines
  • Security Alarms

Development Tool

There are several software development tools available for code development on STM32 microcontrollers. The software tools are available as Integrated Development Environments (IDE) which combines all of the necessary tools into an integrated environment.
Two common development packages include:



     • Keil MDK ARM (uVison5 IDE) – The MDK ARM IDE is a very stable development environment which can be downloaded for free. It allows development of code up to a program size of 32 KB.

  • CoIDE – A free tool chain which is based on a trimmed down version of the Eclipse IDE integrated along with an embedded ARM version of the free GCC compiler.    

It’s always easiest to start with a readily available basic code framework. Then, add the code that is required for the specific application and model of microcontroller.
Fortunately, STMicroelectronics provides a very useful graphical tool called STM32CubeMx that helps in creating a basic application project for any STM32 microcontroller of your choice. It also can be used to configure the peripherals on the multiplexed pins of the microcontroller.

 Download the STM32 beginner book here 

In any case, a lot of engineers select stm32 as an MCU. Here’s why.

  • It has many models an variants. Usually you can find one that does what you need.
  • distribution is plentiful and the prices are very good.
  • there is very good support from 3rd party firmware libraries and operating systems.
  • the ST design tools themselves are very nice. Compared to TI, that has a draconian IDE that must do all, ST supports a lot of different tools and you can more easily architect the firmware how you want.
  • In particular, it has the best low-power models in the Cortex-M MCU space. Other manufacturers rely on DC-DC converters to improve datasheet power metrics, ST does not. So it’s super-common in wearables and other low power devices.












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