ST wireless microcontroller for incoming cyber-protection regulations

ST wireless microcontroller for incoming cyber-protection regulations

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

STMicroelectronics  is launching its next generation of its short-range wireless microcontrollers for secure Bluetooth LE and Matter connectivity.

The STM32WBA5 wireless microcontroller , available from March 12, is aimed at wearables and smart objects including smart home devices, health monitors, and smart appliances to become ever more miniaturized, easy to use, secure and affordable. A key addition is a security block with ARM TrustZone for a secure root of trust and 256bit AES encryption.

The STM32WBA series is the first wireless MCU in the market to achieve the SESIP (Security Evaluation Standard for IoT Platforms) Level 3 security certification. With this, smart devices containing STM32WBA microcontrollers are ready to satisfy the US Cyber Trust Mark and EU Radio Equipment Directive (RED) regulations due to become mandatory in 2025.

Short-range wireless technologies like Bluetooth LE, Zigbee and Thread for home bridges, gateways, and controllers including smartphones.

The STM32WBA54 and STM32WBA55 use a 100MHz ARM Cortex-M33 core with up to 1MB of Flash memory. A background autonomous mode, flexible power-saving states, and analog and digital peripherals proven in ST’s STM32U5 ultra-low-power MCUs reduce the power consumption.

The 2.4GHz radio integrated alongside the MCU is the first to let the application control the RF output power. The adjustment range allows up to +10dB to ensure reliable wireless connections even in difficult operating conditions.

STM32WBA55 microcontroller can communicate using multiple wireless standards concurrently, including low-energy Bluetooth LE 5.4, Zigbee, Thread, and Matter (Thread RCP). Matter border router is a perfect match with the STM32WBA5 for this new open-source connectivity standard for smart-home and IoT (Internet of Things) devices.

This supports the latest Zigbee standards including Release 22 and Release 23, which significantly extends the Zigbee core stack for greater security, reliability, and usability.

ST has also introduced support for the recently completed Bluetooth LE Audio specifications that enable exciting and innovative new products for richer listening and hearing experiences. These include the new Bluetooth Auracast feature, which opens the door to a new world of audio broadcasting applications.

The STM32WBA5 is also compatible with the development tools and software packs of the STM32 microcontroller development ecosystem for migrating existing products designed for wired connections.

“Lead customers are already appreciating the enhanced wireless performance, flexibility, and security of our latest STM32WBA wireless microcontrollers. They are creating diverse products including smart thermostats, tracking devices, smart chargers, headsets, power tools, and smart meters,” said Benoit Rodrigues, Wireless MCU Division General Manager, STMicroelectronics.

“The extensive software ecosystem that provides communication stacks, microcontroller-specific software packs, sample code, and tools helps developers bring new products to market based on these MCUs quickly and efficiently.”

“We work with smart asset tracking devices which are connected through Bluetooth to mobiles and through mobile apps to the cloud, enabling us to deliver complete asset tracking management for our customers. ST’s microcontrollers bring wireless connectivity to our multi-mode trackers,” said Olivier Hersent, CEO, Abeeway, part of the Actility Group.

“We have selected the new wireless connectivity product, STM32WBA5, for its enhanced performance with ultra-low power radio capabilities, which is key for our battery powered devices. They ensure stable connectivity in the harsh industrial environment where we operate, combined with security that meets the highest industry standards,” he said.

“We believe that gaming peripherals should be as unique and accessible as the gaming community itself,” said Tom Roberts, CTO, Performance Designed Products (PDP). “ST and PDP have worked together through several Video Game generations, and we have used STM8 and STM32 devices for many years.”

“We selected the STM32WBA5, based on the integrated MCU and Bluetooth low-energy technology, for a groundbreaking game controller.  The STM32WBA offered us an ideal combination of performance, peripherals, cost efficiency and ecosystem support that enabled simple and fast development.”

By supporting LE Audio, designed for the Bluetooth Low Energy radio, the STM32WBA series enhances flexibility to optimize audio quality and power consumption for broadcast and multicast audio.

The wireless microcontroller is supported in the STM32 ecosystem, with dedicated software packages and tools for configuring the hardware and testing the wireless performance, as well as evaluation kits and rich online support. These include wireless protocol stacks and code examples, prototype boards and expansion cards, a developer’s wiki, and more online including ST’s STM32 github repository and the STM32 developer community.

The STM32WBA5 wireless microcontroller line will be available on on March 12. Sample requests and pricing information are available from local ST sales offices. ST will introduce a ready-to-use module containing the STM32WBA, integrated with necessary external components including power-supply and antenna-balancing circuitry, in June 2024.

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