32-Bit MCUs for Power- and Cost-Sensitive Smart Embedded ApplicationsMarch 12, 2020 by Paul Shepard
New STM32L4P5 and STM32L4Q5 microcontrollers (MCUs) from STMicroelectronics bring the performance of the Arm® Cortex®-M4 core to cost-sensitive and power-conscious smart connected devices, including utility meters, industrial and medical sensors, fitness trackers, and smart-home products.
With memory density down to 512KB Flash and 320KB SRAM, ST’s new STM32L4+ MCUs deliver performance with economy. Compact 10mm x 10mm 64-pin and 7mm x 7mm 48-pin package options let designers tackle applications limited by size constraints such as wearable form factors.
Flexibility is assured, with independent power connections for circuitry such as USB and analog peripherals, independent clock domains, and Octal and Quad SPI interfaces for external memory expansion. The new devices also feature a 5Msample/s smart analog-to-digital converter (ADC) that can operate at full speed to minimize acquisition time, or at reduced speed with lower current.
Leveraging ST’s ultra-low-power microcontroller technologies, the new STM32L4+ MCUs feature seven main low-power modes that let designers creatively manage power consumption and wake-up times to minimize energy demand. The devices also support FlexPowerControl, which ensures energy-efficient handling of processing loads, as well as Batch Acquisition Mode for energy-efficient data capture while the CPU is stopped.
EEMBC® benchmark scores of 409 CoreMark® and 285 ULPMark™-CP confirm the strong combination of high performance and energy efficiency the new microcontrollers deliver.
There are also features to preserve system reliability and safety in industrial and medical applications, including Flash error-correcting code (ECC) support and hardware parity checking for SRAM.
Cyber-protection features include a True Random Number Generator and IP protection through limited access to code stored in internal memory. STM32L4Q5 devices feature additional cryptographic accelerators that support AES, RSA, DH and ECC acceleration.
ST has extended the STM32 development ecosystem by introducing the NUCLEO-L4P5ZG Nucleo-144 board and STM32L4P5G-DK Discovery kit, each containing an STM32L4P5 microcontroller. Leveraging the market proven STM32Cube ecosystem, the STM32L4P5 and STM32L4Q5 are supported by the STM32CubeL4 MCU package, which contains hardware abstraction layer and low-layer (HAL/LL) peripheral drivers, middleware components and examples projects, and by the STM32CubeMX initialization-code generator and configurator, which has an easy-to-use power consumption calculator for ultra-low-power design.
Budgetary pricing starts at $3.90 for the STM32L4P5CEU6 with 512KByte Flash in the QFN48 package, for orders of 10,000 pieces per year. Samples are available immediately and full production is ramping up.