Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Low-Power MCUs With Advanced Performance And Cybersecurity

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Efficient 40nm process technology and power-saving innovations minimise energy consumption for demanding consumer and industrial applications

Here’s presenting a new generation of extreme power-saving microcontrollers (MCUs), the STM32U5 series that meet demanding power/performance requirements for smart applications including wearables, personal medical devices, home automation and industrial sensors.

The new STM32U5 series combines the efficient Arm Cortex-M33 core with an on-chip IP having power-saving features, cutting down energy demand while pumping up performance. The microcontrollers introduce an innovative autonomous mode that lets direct memory access (DMA) and peripherals keep working while most of the device sleeps, to save power. Granular control over operating modes allows part of the MCU’s memory to be turned off, to avoid powering unused cells.

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Other features of these ultra-low-power MCUs are:

  • Dynamic voltage scaling, which optimises energy consumption according to the workload.
  • ART Accelerator reads Flash memory efficiently.
  • Updated ART Accelerator now allows reading of off-chip Flash as well as the MCU’s internal memory.

It also meets advanced cybersecurity with new hardware-based protection targeting PSA and SESIP (Security Evaluation Standard for IoT Platforms) assurance level 3, as well as graphics accelerators for rich user experiences.

By integrating an advanced DC-DC converter and low-dropout (LDO) regulator, connected in parallel and selectable on-the-fly, STM32U5 MCUs can cut dynamic power consumption to less than 19µA/MHz.

Upgraded Peripherals

In addition to saving power, designers can tackle demanding applications by leveraging new features such as greater Flash density, now with up to 2MB on-chip and fast interfaces to off-chip memory for further expansion. Up to 0.5MB of on-chip Flash has increased cycle life, up to 100,000 read/write cycles to assure reliable storage of user data.

An advanced high-speed 14-bit analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) is provided, ready for next-generation sensing and tracking applications.

A Multi-function Digital Filter (MDF) and Audio Digital Filter (ADF) upgrade the capabilities of the Digital Filter for the Sigma-Delta Modulator (DFSDM). By boosting performance in sound-activity detection, these now enable users to infuse AI into low-cost, low-power microcontroller-based use cases. Moreover, with Error Correction Code (ECC) memory as part of the device’s RAM, STM32U5 MCUs can also fulfil safety-centric applications.

Enhanced Cybersecurity

 Building on the cybersecurity focus of the STM32L5, which includes a Cortex-M33 core with Arm TrustZone technology and an ST-specific security feature set, the STM32U5 series introduces new and state-of-the-art innovations:

Internal monitoring that can erase secret data in the event of perturbation attacks helps meet the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) requirements for Point Of Sales (POS) applications.

New Ecosystem Resources

 Azure RTOS will be integrated into the STM32Cube software suite, with configuration features in STM32CubeMX and STM32CubeIDE tools an examples, bringing additional key benefits to STM32Cube like fast performance and industry certifications.

The STM32U5 IoT Discovery Kit (B-U585I-IOT02A) combines the MCU with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules, as well as microphones, temperature and humidity, magnetometer, accelerometer and gyroscope, pressure, Time-of-Flight and gesture-detection sensors. It enables a wide diversity of applications by exploiting low-power communication, multiway sensing and direct connection to cloud servers. It includes 

Microsoft has chosen this kit as a reference board for the new Azure Certified Device program. “The STM32U5 provides an excellent platform for delivering Azure IoT services via Azure RTOS leveraging the advanced features of STM32U5 microcontroller,” said Sam George, Corporate Vice President, Azure IoT at Microsoft Corporation. 

STM32U5 MCUs from STMicroelectronics is sampling now in a broad choice of packages including a 4.2mm x 3.95mm WLCSP and 7mm x 7mm UQFN48 and UFBGA169 to lead customers and will be in full production in September 2021. The STM32U5 IoT Discovery Kit will be available to order later in the year.


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