Free compiler fills out ST’s 8bit MCU toolchain for small, smart devices

March 14, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
STMicroelectronics says it has extended incentives for designers to choose its STM8 microcontrollers for economical computing tasks in smart devices; the Cosmic CXSTM8 C-compiler completes free and unlimited development toolchain, and supports the entire STM8 family up to 128 kB, with no restrictions on code size. The entry-point STM8S-Discovery kit is $8.


ST, working with Cosmic, has completed the offering of all the software tools that designers need to build, debug, and fine-tune STM8 applications: free of charge. The free Cosmic C-compiler for STM8 ( COS-C-COMPILER), announced today, is unconstrained and complete, and supports all variants of the STM8 family including the largest 128 kB devices.


Designers can begin prototyping with these 8-bit MCUs for $8, which is the price of the STM8S-DISCOVERY hardware kit for exercising the main features of STM8S Access-Line microcontrollers. The family also includes the STM8L ultra-low-power line, and the STM8AF and STM8AL automotive lines, giving a choice of over 120 device variants with versatile configurations of on-chip memory, package style, and peripherals such as communication interfaces, timers, and converters.


“The 8-bit arena [is] the largest market sector, roughly 40% of microcontroller sales,” said Michel Buffa, Group VP, General Manager, Microcontroller Division, STMicroelectronics. “We are committed to ensuring that STM8 devices are chosen to power the majority of the tens of millions of applications that rely on the simplicity and economy of 8-bit microcontrollers.”


“Cosmic has been working with ST on several generations of STM8 microcontrollers, and our C compiler, CXSTM8, is a perfect fit for this architecture,” said Luca Ubiali, Key Account Manager at Cosmic. “We are happy that its best-in-class performance and flexibility are now freely available to all STM8 users. Moreover, as project safety requirements increase, CXSTM8 reliability can be easily completed with Cosmic's Unit Testing and RunTime Core Validation products.”


Cosmic’s CXSTM8 C compiler integrates with the ST Visual Develop (STVD) environment. STVD is part of the free ST microcontroller toolset that also includes the ST Visual Programmer (STVP) programming interface, the ST Assembler Linker, and STMStudio for fine-tuning application behavior.