STM32 MCU variant boosts graphics power

January 22, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
STMicroelectronics says it is bringing the power of the ARM Cortex-M7 to a broader range of applications with added graphics-centric STM32 microcontrollers; these devices are configured with up to 2 MB flash and 512 kB RAM.

STM32F767/769 microcontrollers (MCUs) offer, the company says, rich memory, graphics and communication peripherals for portable or wearable consumer devices, smart-building and industrial controllers, smart appliances, and personal or point-of-care medical equipment. Use them ST suggests, in high-performance controls and user interfaces: these latest members of the STM32 MCU family feature a 216MHz/462DMIPS/1082 EEMBC CoreMark Cortex-M7 core with double-precision floating-point unit and DSP instructions. Integrated alongside the core are up to 2 MB of dual-bank flash, ST’s Chrom-ART Accelerator for graphics performance, a hardware JPEG accelerator, TFT-LCD controller, and MIPI-DSI (on certain variants) host controller.

On-chip resources, ST asserts, give graphics applications richness and rendering beyond the capabilities of other microcontrollers. There are also powerful audio features including an I²S interface, Serial Audio Interface (SAI), audio PLLs, and DFSDM (Digital Filter for Sigma-Delta Modulators) for connecting a digital microphone or external Sigma-Delta ADC.

The STM32F767/769 feature 512 kB of integrated RAM, as well as 16 kB Data and Instruction caches, while the Flexible Memory Controller (FMC) and Quad-SPI interface simplify off-chip memory expansion allowing practically unlimited application code size. On-chip flash allows read-while-write for seamless application performance and continuous operation even while simultaneously updating software.

The STM32F767/769 provide the option of a crypto/hash engine (with STM32F777/779 devices) for security-conscious applications. As Cortex-M7 devices, they also provide an upgrade path from STM32F469/479 Cortex-M4 devices that have similar graphics and memory features. The associated ecosystem has features that help developers achieve high graphics performance for applications such as human-machine interfaces.

The MCUs are sampling and will enter mass production in May 2016. Pricing starts at $10.95 for the STM32F779NIH6 (2 MB Flash, 512 kB RAM, TFT, MIPI-DSI, Crypto, TFBGA216) or $7.96 for the entry-level STM32F767VGT6 (1 MB Flash, 512 kB RAM, TFT, LQFP100) (both 10,000).