Microcontrollers power up next-gen smart objects

4th December 2017
Posted By : Alice Matthews
Microcontrollers power up next-gen smart objects

When designed around the latest ultra-low-power microcontrollers from STMicroelectronics, the smart electronic objects people interact with every day can be easier to use and run for longer on batteries. The new STM32L4+ devices - a new generation of the STM32L4 series that stretches performance to 150DMIPS (233 ULPMark-CP) at 120MHz - can act as the central controller in a full range of fitness bands, smart watches, small medical equipment, smart meters, and smart industrial sensors.

All these applications require sophisticated functions, instant responses, and minimal downtime for battery charging, making the ultra-efficient STM32L4+ a suitable fit.

STM32L4+ gives application designers the features they need to achieve these goals: strong processor performance with the largest on-chip memory for this type of ultra-low-power microcontroller, and the most advanced graphics capabilities for smooth and fluid user experiences. The new Chrom-GRC graphics controller can handle circular displays (TFT-LCDs) just as efficiently as square ones, without wasting resources managing pixels that are never displayed. Also on-chip is ST's innovative Chrom-ART Accelerator, which enhances graphics performance.

"We all now expect smart objects to fit seamlessly into our lives, anticipating our needs, yet requiring minimal attention themselves," said Michel Buffa, Microcontroller Division General Manager, STMicroelectronics. "Leveraging the controllers' largest-in-class memory and super-efficient graphics capabilities, STM32L4+ microcontrollers series will enable new classes of smart products with more sophisticated features and smoother interactions."

Designers using the STM32L4+ series can use the extensive STM32 development ecosystem, which helps streamline design and minimise time to market. The ecosystem provides affordable prototyping boards, software examples, free tools, and high-quality third-party software, hardware, and integrated development environments (IDEs) as part of the ST Partner Programme. Applications developed for the earlier STM32L4 microcontrollers can run unchanged on the new devices, with improved performance.

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