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STMicroelectronics, a supplier of microcontroller ICs, has added another line to its STM32 range, focusing on high-performance variants of industry-standard interfaces.

This is intended to allow more applications to benefit from the seamless pin-and-software compatibility between STM32 devices.

The novel STM32 Connectivity Line features a full-speed USB on-the-go (OTG) interface, which is said to allow end products to act as a USB host or device.

There is also an ethernet interface featuring hardware support for IEEE1588 precision time protocol (PTP).

Implementing the protocol in hardware reduces central processing unit (CPU) overhead and enables faster response for real-time applications and when synchronising networked devices.

The Connectivity Line is also the first in the STM32 family to include two CAN2.0B controllers, which allow developers to build gateway devices linking two industry-standard controller area network (CAN) buses.

The microcontroller units (MCUs) support simultaneous operation of ethernet, USB OTG and CAN2.0B peripherals, allowing developers to build gateway devices using a combination of these interfaces in a single chip.

Jim Nicholas, general manager of ST’s microcontroller division, said: ‘This new MCU family brings the benefits of the STM32 architecture to extra applications in the industrial, medical, building automation, home audio and domestic-appliance markets.

‘There are now 75 MCUs across all STM32 families, benefiting from the 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 processor and complete pin-to-pin and software compatibility, enabling our customers to base a complete line of products on a single MCU platform,’ he added.

The STM32 Connectivity Line is claimed to deliver increased audio capabilities using an advanced phase-locked loop scheme, enabling audio-class I2S communications.

Combined with the ability to act as a USB host or device, the STM32 can read, decode and output audio from external storage such as a USB mass-storage device or MP3 player.

Human-machine interface (HMI) functions such as play and stop buttons, as well as display interfacing, can also be hosted on the MCU.

This will allow use in various home-audio products, such as docking systems, alarm clock/music players and home theatre.

The combination of advanced, connectivity-oriented peripherals, standard STM32 peripherals including a PWM timer and the high processing performance of the 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 CPU also allow developers to consolidate multiple functions such as motor control, user-interface control and connectivity features in equipment such as domestic appliances, building controls or industrial automation.

Other applications will include systems requiring network accessibility, data logging or USB peripheral extension, such as patient monitors, point-of-sale terminals, vending machines and safety or security systems.

Among software and development tools supporting the STM32 family, including the STM32 Connectivity Line, there is a free software library provided by ST as well as broad-based support from third-party tools.

An evaluation board will also be available.

The STM32F105 and STM32F107 Connectivity Line families are currently sampling to lead customers and devices are priced from USD3.28 (GBP2.30) in the 64Kb LQFP64 package and USD4.92 for 256Kb devices in the LQFP100, for quantities of 10,000 units.

ST Microelectronics

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