STMicroelectronics has introduced a new range of 32-bit general-purpose microcontrollers that will significantly extend battery life in a wide range of consumer, health, and industrial applications. The new STM32L0 ultra-low-power series features a 32MHz ARM Cortex M0+ processor core, a 12-bit Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) that sets a new standard for low power consumption, and a USB FS 2.0 crystal-less solution.
With the ADC consuming just 40µA at a conversion speed of 100ksps, rising to just 200µA at 1.14Msps, in combination with the outstanding power efficiency of both the processor core and the ultra-low-power peripherals, applications such as fitness trackers and domestic smoke detectors powered by non-rechargeable batteries will require less frequent replacements, saving both end-user costs and the environmental burden of spent batteries. For example, an STM32L0-based fitness tracker powered by a non-rechargeable coin-cell battery could operate for up to two years before needing a new battery.
Manufacturers will often be able to design equipment that uses smaller batteries, reducing the size and cost of products such as glucose meters and the rapidly growing range of portable health and fitness products. In addition, the new devices are fabricated in ST’s proprietary CMOS tech; nology that offers both embedded EEPROM, as well as the industry’s smallest variation in power consumption over the 25°C – 125°C temperature range, leading to record low consumption levels at elevated temperatures. This makes the STM32L0 microcontrollers particularly suitable for (distributed) industrial sensor applications relying on batteries or energy harvesting.
The STM32L0 series is offered in three lines: Access line, USB line, and USB/LCD line. Common features of all of the new devices include outstanding power consumption in several modes including 139 µA/MHz @ 32MHz, 87 µA/MHz using an optimized mode, and 400nA in Stop mode with full RAM retention and a 3.5µs wake-up time. The series also features up to 64KB of Flash memory, up to 8KB of SRAM, and 2KB of embedded true EEPROM. A built-in hardware oversampling capability also enables 16-bit ADC resolution. STM32L0 devices with integrated USB FS 2.0 interface support battery charger detection and link power management. Crystal-less operation of the USB is enabled via a built-in 48 MHz oscillator. All the lines offer built- in hardware engine encryption (AES) as an option.
The new devices are now available for sampling from US$0.85 (1,000 unit quantities), with volume production in Q2 2014.