ST builds development package around STM32L4 MCUs

September 18, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
STMicroelectronics has updated its microcontroller development ecosystem with prototype boards for all budgets and STM32Cube software support for the STM32L4 series now entering full production.

The STM32L4 prototype boards include the fully featured Evaluation Board ( STM32L476G-EVAL) priced at $289 and the $19.90 Discovery Kit (STM32L476G-DISCO) with features including a MEMS microphone and motion sensors, digital-to-analogue converter, 96-segment LCD, and 16 Mbyte QSPI Flash memory. Users are free to fine-tune hardware and software on-the-fly throughout development, which helps reduce design risk.

Engineers, students, and hobbyists on a budget can also get into performance-oriented, energy-conscious embedded design using the STM32 Nucleo board ( NUCLEO-L476RG) at $10.32. The Nucleo board has Arduino Uno headers for access to a wide choice of extension shields and integrates the ST-Link debugger/programmer that saves any need for a separate debug probe and allows drag-and-drop Flash programming. The Discovery and Nucleo boards both provide direct access to mbed online tools.

A full STM32Cube software suite is available, including the STM32CubeMX configurator and initialisation-code generator with built-in design wizards and power-consumption calculator. The STM32CubeL4 model-specific embedded software provides Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL), application examples, and Low-Layer APIs that help maximise performance and runtime efficiency. The APIs can be used in parallel with the HAL and simplify migrating projects developed with STM32 standard peripheral libraries into the STM32Cube environment.

The STM32L4 MCU devices host a 80MHz ARM Cortex-M4 core with DSP extensions and floating-point unit, and achieve aggressive power savings through features such as smart architecture with FlexPowerControl, dynamic voltage scaling, and seven power-management modes with sub-mode options. Among these, Batch Acquisition Mode (BAM) allows capturing data from peripherals even while the core is powered down.

STM32L4 microcontrollers are priced from $3.40 in the LQFP64 package (10,000).