Arduino baseboard targets high performance graphics for IoT

May 21, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
A collaboration between the Arduino open-source platform maker and STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) yields the first Arduino board based on the STM32 ARM Cortex-M MCU, which offers high-performance graphics, TFT touch display, wireless link, and connectivity for audio, MicroSD, USB OTG, and camera.

The agreement makes the STM32 family of microcontrollers, along with ST’s full portfolio of sensing, power, and connectivity technology, more accessible to the Arduino maker community. The first product of the STAR (ST and Arduino) program is the STM32F469-based STAR Otto baseboard, allowing IoT developers to build high-performance graphics into their smart devices using accessible hardware and software to improve their applications with easy-to-use touch displays and audio for command and control as well as for media-streaming use cases.

STAR Otto is built around the 32-bit STM32F469 MCU, which includes ST’s Chrom-ART graphics accelerator and MIPI DSI display interface along with an open-source software graphics library. STAR Otto provides a pre-integrated wireless link and audio capabilities, enabled by an ST MEMS microphone together with the necessary open-source drivers. This efficient and optimized approach lets makers focus on their value-add and simplifies integration, enabling a broad range of Smart Home and Smart Industry applications.

In addition to the STAR Otto microcontroller baseboard, the cooperation aims to deliver a range of Arduino shields that expand the functional possibilities. DSI-display and NFC-reader shields are planned for Q2 2016 and a Sensor shield is scheduled to be available in H2 2016. Several STM32 Nucleo expansion boards and software libraries, including those for environmental sensors and proximity detection, have already been ported to the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and can be used with the new STAR Otto baseboard.

“Arduino has grown by encouraging kids – from 10 to 100 years old – to learn electronics and programming to make projects by building on the learnings of others.....we fully expect commercial IoT companies to also use these new features to easily design new smart home devices and applications, or improve products that drive industrial automation and control,” said Federico Musto, CEO & President of Arduino in a statement.

Arduino STAR OTTO board information page