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MCU boosts graphics features for richer UI

Posted: 05 Mar 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ARM Cortex-M4  MCU  graphics 

STMicroelectronics has introduced a microcontroller (MCU) family that according to the company combines the ARM Cortex-M4 core running at 180MHz and graphics-related improvements to deliver richer user experiences. The company is also unveiling increased software support for embedded graphics development in conjunction with SEGGER, and announced full production of a 168MHz series with ultra-large on-chip memory density.

The STM32F429/39 series claims to extend the STM32 family's performance lead among Cortex-M MCUs while new production and design techniques have reduced STOP-mode current, enabling longer battery life in portable applications. In addition, the devices boast new features such as a TFT-LCD controller, ST Chrom-ART Accelerator for faster graphics and SDRAM interface, allowing user interfaces for applications such as smart meters, small appliances and industrial and healthcare devices to provide richer, more colourful content and more intuitive operation.

I2S Inter-IC Sound Time Division Multiplex (TDM) connectivity allows multi-channel audio designs. Selected devices also have the latest, strongest anti-copying security for embedded processors, noted ST. The STemWin graphics software also provides access to the SEGGER emWin embedded graphics stack and is optimised to take full advantage of new hardware graphics features.

STemWin is free of charge for STM32 customers and also includes the SEGGER Virtual Network Computing (VNC) system enabling remote viewing of the UI using Internet protocols. Additional powerful features for developers include window-manager and widget packages, touchscreen/mouse support, and memory device contexts that allow flicker free screen updates.

The STM32F429/39 are now sampling to lead customers and are available in the established LQFP100, LQFP144, WLCSP, LQFP176 and UFBGA176 packages. In addition, ST has introduced two package options with more than 200 pins—the LQFP208 and TFBGA216 packages—that provide extra I/Os allowing designers to maximise the extra performance and functionality.

Budgetary pricing is from Rs.408.60 ($7.60) for the STM32F429VGT6 with 1MB Flash and 256KB SRAM in LQFP100 package, to Rs.550.00 ($10.23) for the STM32F439BIT6 with 2MB Flash, 256KB RAM and crypto/Hash processor in LQFP208 package. All prices are for orders of 10,000 pieces per year.

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