Dev board boost for 40nm microcontrollers

September 28, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Dev board boost for 40nm microcontrollers
Software extensions and development boards kick-start development with STMicroelectronics’ 40nm STM32U5 low power microcontrollers

STMicroelectronics has launched STM32Cube software packs and tools, as well as evaluation boards, to accelerate development with the latest 40nm STM32U5 microcontrollers (MCUs).

The STM32U575 and STM32U585 MCUs combine security and power-saving innovations with the increased performance and energy efficiency of the latest ARM Cortex-M33 core. With up to 2MB of Flash memory on-chip, typical applications include smart, connected consumer products such as activity trackers and smart watches, as well as smart-home equipment, utility meters, equipment for industrial sensing and signaling, mobile point-of-sale (POS) terminals, insulin pumps, and glucose meters.

These are the first STM32 MCUs to be built on a 40nm process to boost integration and memory density and reduce dynamic power consumption and standby power. There are also new power-saving features including a Low Power Background Autonomous Mode (LPBAM) that lets direct memory access (DMA) and key peripherals operate without CPU intervention. With an updated ST ART Accelerator, the ability to turn off unused MCU memory, and a selectable DC-DC converter and low-dropout (LDO) regulator combination, dynamic power is less than 19µA/MHz.

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The STM32CubeU5 enablement ecosystem for STM32U5, available on and GitHub, has more than 200 project examples and provides software to help exercise MCU features like LPBAM, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE). Support for OpenBootloader eases implementation of custom bootloader code. Azure RTOS with ThreadX RTOS as well as FreeRTOS and CMSIS OS wrappers ensures high performance and eases industry certifications. In addition, the X-CUBE-STL self-test library and functional safety documentation assist safety-critical application development and accelerate IEC61508 SIL certification of STM32U5-based products.

There are also software packages that simplify cybersecurity and help comply with industry best practices. These include reference code for Secure Boot and Secure Firmware Update (SBSFU) and a Trusted Firmware (TF-M) example that leverages Arm’s TrustZone isolation within the core to implement secure services for PSA level 3 and SESIP level 3 certifications.  ST’s industry-certified X-CUBE-CRYPTOLIB cryptographic library is updated with simplified API and extra cryptographic algorithms, and support for Secure Firmware Install (SFI) protects downloading of customer firmware. These software packages work with the MCUs’ enhanced hardware security features, which include strengthened protection against side-channel attacks as well as internal monitoring to erase secret data, which meets payment-card industry (PCI) requirements for POS applications.

Hardware kits for the MCUs are available now with the Discovery kit for IoT node (B-U585I-IOT02A), priced at $65.00, which contains MEMS context sensing and BLE and Wi-Fi modules. The board can connect directly to cloud services and has been chosen as a reference platform by Microsoft and Amazon.

The $23.00 NUCLEO-U575ZI-Q board supports prototyping while the full-featured STM32U575I-EV evaluation kit is available for $348.

Prices for STM32U5 MCUs start at $3.60, in various packages including a 4.2mm x 3.95mm WLCSP and 7mm x 7mm UQFN48 and UFBGA169.

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