Friday, March 14, 2014

New micros from ST

ST Microelectronics continues going strong in microcontrollers.

During the first quarter of 2014, ST Microelectronics has released a number of new interesting microcontrollers, including ultra-low-power STM32 L0 series, inexpensive STM32 F0 products, and new a new line of STM32 F4 devices with "Dynamic Efficiency" to balance power consumption and performance.

STM32 Nucleo development board
To general public, perhaps the most interesting new product is the STM32 Nucleo family of affordable mbed-enabled prototyping boards, with Arduino compatible pin headers plus ST specific Morpho extension headers. Prices start from just ten bucks. At the Embedded World in Nuremberg, ST giveaway 10'000 development boards altogether.

Last Wednesday, my company arranged together with ST Microelectronics a HMI Workshop and training session about embedded graphics development with STM32F4 and STemWIN graphics library. STemWIN is a free STM32 specific binary port of popular professional emWin graphics library from Segger. At the end of the free training, participants got with them a free STM32F4 Discovery Kit with 2.4" QVGA TFT color graphics display that they exercised with.

STM32F4-Discovery board
We got 25 participants in the event, which is exactly the number of people the conference room reserved for the purpose can accommodate. So we met our targets for the event first of it's kind. As it was so successful to all stakeholders, for sure we will organize new ones in the future as well.

In general, ST has very strong portfolio in microcontrollers. Among microcontroller designs made in my company within couple of last years, STM32 has been the most common choice, incorporating in more designs than other micros. ST products are known for good silicon quality with little or no design faults or manufacturing defects.

Actually, before the training session held this week, I was not aware of who is the local support FAE of ST, as we have never needed any help. Quality of silicon and documentation is very important factor if you do product development for money, and should meet the expected time frame and budget. Fault chip designs ruins your business. Simply cannot claim ST for any such problems.

Once I have some time for hands-one exercises with the Nucleo L0 board, I will report my experiences here.

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