Graphical environment to code middleware for ARM/STM32 MCUs

February 21, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
STM32Cube is a software framework that uses a graphical configuration environment to simplify development on STM32 microcontrollers. A full set of drivers over the entire STM32 product lines ensures easy porting among the different MCUs.

ST’s STM32Cube software platform comprising tools, middleware, and Hardware Abstraction Layer allows you to focus on product-specific features; the first release of series-specific middleware, STM32CubeF4, supports the high-performance STM32 F4 series; support for remaining STM32 series will be added throughout 2014. A graphical configuration tool creates the initial customer source code, based on the combination of the microcontroller feature set and the STM32Cube drivers.

The development platform comprises the STM32CubeMX graphical configurator and initialisation C-code generator that provides step-by-step guidance for users and a set of rich embedded-software components that save integrating software from multiple sources. The software includes a new Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) that simplifies porting from one STM32 device to another. By gathering all the generic software components needed for developing applications on STM32 microcontrollers into one single package, this platform eliminates the complex task of assessing dependencies between individual software components. STM32Cube provides hundreds of usage examples and an update mechanism for fast and efficient access to the latest versions of the software.

“STM32Cube allows engineers to take maximum advantage of our large STM32 portfolio, which now extends to over 360 microcontrollers, offering extensive hardware and software compatibility spanning a wide range of performance, power, and features,” said Michel Buffa, General Manager, Microcontroller Division, STMicroelectronics. “Today we are announcing the graphical configuration tool, with the middleware and HAL supporting high-performance STM32 F4 devices. Further releases will roll out during 2014, extending support to all STM32 devices.”

The STM32CubeMX graphical configuration tool simplifies and automates configuration and generation of STM32 initialisation C code ready to be used with several development environments. STM32CubeMX is also available as an Eclipse plug-in, allowing use within Eclipse-based development environments. The tool provides a filter for selecting the desired STM32 device and graphical wizards to simplify configuration: the pin-out wizard assists pin assignment to avoid conflicts, embedding a powerful constraints solver; the clock-tree wizard assigns clocks and performs dynamic validation; the peripherals-and-middleware wizard aids configuration to avoid unusable settings; and the power-consumption wizard checks that the application meets the available power budget.