1.8V STM32 MCUs bridge mobile platform subsystems

June 12, 2014

Toni_McConnel-June 12, 2014

The STM32F038/48/58/78 and STM32F318/28/58/78 microcontrollers from STMicroelectronics are specific low-voltage devices that help overcome the challenges designers face when adding a companion chip to a low-voltage host processor. The focused low-voltage MCUs connect to the same digital power domain as the host, such as a 1.8V power supply, while allowing on-chip peripherals to operate from higher voltages such as 3.3V. According to the company, this gives freedom from the usual performance trade-offs that come with lower supply voltages.

The STM32F038/48/58/78 and STM32F318/28/58/78 enable flexible design partitioning. The combination of 1.8V digital supply voltage and independent analog domain is particularly strong where a wide analog dynamic range is required, or for connecting directly to USB devices. STM32F0x8 I/Os allow bridging between different voltages without using level shifters. The ADC peripheral of STM32F3x8 devices is fully functional down to 1.8V.

STM32F0x8 devices combine the ARM Cortex-M0 core with up to 128Kbyte on-chip Flash, while the STM32F3x8 based on the ARM Cortex-M4 core with DSP instruction set and floating-point unit have up to 512Kbyte. Extensive pin, peripheral, and software compatibility between the two new low-voltage families, and with the mainstream STM32 F0 and STM32 F3 series, ensure design flexibility and scalability.

The low-voltage product lines allow designers to take advantage of the same features as mainstream STM32 F0 and STM32 F3 product series with no compromise or degradation in processing performance when operating at the lower voltage. By enabling a simplified hardware implementation, these devices also deliver a cost advantage.

These two new STM32 series are designed for use in portable consumer applications such as smartphones, accessories, and media devices, and are offered in low-profile CSP, UQFN or UFBGA package styles as well as TSSOP and LQFP. The full range of package options spans configurations from 20 pins to 100 pins.

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