MCUs offer security, performance for high-end IoT market

SEATTLE — STMicroelectronics has announced a new family of microcontrollers based on the ARM Cortex-M7 processor that provides a blend of high performance and integrated security for IoT applications. The STM32H7 series addresses the high end of the IoT market, including industrial control, home automation, and domestic appliances, with a rich combination of memory and peripherals, processing capability, and security features. According to the company's press release, the STM32H743 — first in the series — achieves a CoreMark score of 2010 running at 400 MHz while consuming less than 280 µA/MHz.

Because they are fabricated in a 40 nm eFlash process, STM32H7 devices are able to offer a rich array of memory and peripheral resources to developers, STM microcontroller division product line manager Frederic LeCam told EE Times in an interview. Devices in the series can include 2 Mbytes of dual-bank Flash and 1 Mbyte of SRAM along with 16 kBytes each of L1 instruction and data cache and additional tightly-coupled memory in the M7 core. Chips also make the AXI bus and a DMA available to allow the addition of external memory resources with no performance penalty beyond a cache miss. This rich array of memory resources can help simplify and speed design, according to LeCam. “There is no need to optimize code to fit in internal memory any longer,” said LeCam, “eliminating that time and effort.”

In addition to their memory offerings, STM32H7 devices can draw on a range of peripheral types, including up to 35 communications peripherals and 11 enhanced analog functions, to include in their mix. The first device in the series offers multiple UART, USART, SPI, CAN, and USB-OTG ports along with camera, HDMI, and Ethernet interfaces. “There's enough IO to run HMI applications,” noted LeCam. Analog functions include 14-bit 2 MHz ADCs, 12-bit DACs, op-amps, and 22 timers.

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