Maria Montero

STMicroelectronics launches a new series of microprocessors for IoT and applications …

STMicroelectronics has announced a new series of MPUs for IoT and IIoT (Industrial IoT) applications.

The STMicroelectronics multi-core STM32MP1 family joins the company’s STM32 MCU portfolio and uses the company’s extensive OpenSTLinux distribution.

Image modified from STMicroelectronics

The STM32MP1 multi-core microprocessor series is intended to facilitate the development of high-performance solutions for industrial, consumer, smart home and healthcare applications. The new MPUs are covered by ST’s “10-year longevity commitment,” a program designed to build trust with designers that the company will provide long-term support for its products.

The STM32MP1 uses the familiar STM32 architecture that combines the Arm Cortex-A and Cortex-M cores. By stopping the execution of Cortex-A7 and running only from the most efficient Cortex-M4, the power can generally be reduced to 25%. From this mode, standby mode further reduces power use to a thrifty 36 µW.

There is also a VBAT mode that draws a meager 4.5 µW. The units incorporate a large set of peripherals as well as a 3D graphics processor (GPU) unit to support HMI (Human Machine Interface) displays. Furthermore, a wide range of external DDR, SDRAM and flash memories can be supported.

Available versions of the STM32MP1 series

There are three different lines on the STM32MP1. Each has a 209 MHz Cortex-M4 core.

  • STM32MP151 650 MHz Single Cortex-A7 cores
  • STM32MP153 650 MHz Dual Cortex-A7 cores and CAN FD
  • STM32MP157 650MHz Dual Cortex-A7 cores, 3D GPU, DSI and CAN FD display interface

Versions of the STM32MP1. Image by STMicro

In large part due to the fact that this new series of microprocessors joins a well-established family, there is an unusually large set of development tools available.

STM32Cube Tools

The STM32Cube tools have been developed from the STM32Cube package. The STM32CubeMX is a graphical tool that allows easy configuration of devices and fast generation of the corresponding initialization C code.

The STM32CubeMX. Image by STMicro

Evaluation Boards and Discovery Kits

Available with the intention of speeding up the product selection process and time-to-market, STMicro plans to make the following boards and kits available by April 2019:

Evaluation boards:

Discovery Kits:

Developer software packages

Three packages are available to help designers, too:

Who else is in the ultra-low-power MCU / MPU game?

The terms “microprocessors” and “microcontrollers” seem to be used interchangeably. If any readers can shed some light on this distinction, please do so in the comments below.