STMicroelectronics, the global semiconductor leader, has showcased emerging and sustainable technologies and applications at the electronica India edition held on 21- 23 September 2022 on-site in Greater Noida, India. With the theme of Power your innovation, ST showcased demos under Smart Mobility, Power & Energy, STM32 ecosystem & graphics, IoT & Connectivity. Among these, the STM32 ecosystem and graphics were the most prominent.
STM32 MCU is the most popular and first choice for basic as well as advanced projects or designs. The STM32 range offers a variety of options to the developer to choose the perfect microcontroller for their specific project. Some of the MCU STM32-bit Arm® Cortex® range include Arm Cortex-M cores (Cortex-M0, Cortex-M0+, Cortex-M3, Cortex-M4 and Arm Cortex-M7) and are supported by a comprehensive set of software tools.
In a face-to-face meeting with Vinay Thapliyal, Group Manager – Technical Marketing, STMicroelectronics presented a view of STM32 32-bit microcontroller and how STM32 together with its development boards, expansion boards, AI-enabled solutions, software, and GUI-supported boards offer the whole ecosystem to turn ideas into reality with ease.
He explained the STM32Cube which is a kick-start solution along with various stackable boards that helps to add different functionality to the project without any complicated integration. He also explained how STM32 supports popular HMI applications and what STM32 offers under this category. Below are excerpts:
STM32 Ecosystem & Graphics
Under this category, ST showcased the STM32Cube which is used to develop innovative devices and applications based on the STM32 32-bit microcontroller family that can be combined with other ST components connected via expansion boards. It helps to prototype the project easier, and quicker. It includes the following five elements:
• STM32 Nucleo development boards allow us to try out new ideas and quickly create prototypes with any STM32 MCU. Sharing connectors, STM32 Nucleo boards can easily be extended with a large number of application-related hardware add-ons. It also integrates an ST-Link debugger/programmer, so there is no need for a separate probe.
• STM32 Nucleo expansion boards. Boards with additional functionality to add sensing, control, connectivity, power, audio, or other functions as needed.
• STM32Cube software. A set of free-of-charge tools and embedded software bricks to enable fast and easy development on the STM32, including a Hardware Abstraction Layer, middleware and the STM32CubeMX PC-based configurator and code generator
• STM32Cube expansion packages. Expansion software is provided free of charge for use with STM32 Nucleo expansion boards and is compatible with the STM32Cube software framework
The STM32 ODE functions packs extend the offer with a set of functional examples for some of the most common application cases. These examples are built leveraging the STM32 Nucleo development boards and examnsions’ modularity and interoperability with STM32cube Software and expansions.
STM32 Graphical User Interface (GUI)
HMI is a much-needed feature today. STM32 family provides the tools required to easily add smartphone-like Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) in embedded devices. ST provides state-of-the-art MPUs and MCUs, combined with the tools to support desired GUI for the specific project. ST offers 4 pillars to move forward with your design, from idea to final product. It includes:
- STM32 GUI hardware portfolio offers advanced graphics-enabled MCUs and MPUs.
- STM32 GUI Software is the graphical development tool available for free with TouchGFX and STemWIN
- STM32 GUI ecosystem includes Reference designs, selected GUI software and design partners
- STM32 GUI Resources provides Support, online community and documentation.
STM32 with Artificial Intelligence
- Machine Learning (ML) tool for STM32 Developers
ST showcased an example of its automated Machine learning tool, NanoEdge™ AI Studio, a PC-based push-button development studio for developers, which runs on Windows® or Linux® Ubuntu®. Any software developer using the Studio can create optimal ML libraries from its user-friendly environment, without needing specific data science skills or expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
STM32Cube.AI brings the neural networks to all STM32 developers. STM32Cube.AI lets developers import, optimize and deploy trained neural networks from the most popular AI frameworks on any STM32 MCU. The software suite includes the X-CUBE-AI extension software, as well as function packs containing code examples around important use cases, such as computer vision, sensing, and condition monitoring.
Apart from the above, the other highlights were:
USB Type-C™ and Power Delivery
As the world is progressing towards one cable rule, the adoption of USB Type-C connectors is increasing rapidly. ST showcased flexible and robust solutions for certified sources and sinks. From source application (AC adapter, power hubs, etc.), to sink (battery-powered or not), St offers a complete ecosystem for USB-Type C.
Combining middleware, configuration and debugging tools, as well as hardware development platforms, STM32’s ecosystem helps developers deploy USB-C PD technology while ensuring great flexibility.
Depending on the STM32 you choose for your design, two different implementations are made possible: ST offers the X-CUBE-TCPP expansion software package to simplify your development if you are using an STM32 MCU with a built-in USB-C and PD controller (UCPD), and if you use an STM32 without any UCPD peripheral, the X-CUBE-USB-PD stack allows you to run a Type-C Port Manager (TCPM) on any STM32 and to drive a Type-C Port Controller from 3rd party (TCPC).
ST Power Devices
VIPerGaN50 GaN Device
ST featured the GaN family portfolio. As miniaturization is in high demand whether it’s an electronic device or the device that powers it. ST’s GaN Transistor named, VIPERGAN50 is a 650 V GaN device, that needs less than 30 mW on standby with the adaptive burst mode on. It comes in a QFN 5 mm x 6 mm package, making it one of the smallest devices in the industry for its power output.
The MASTERGAN1 is an advanced power system-in-package integrating a gate driver and two enhancement mode GaN transistors in a half-bridge configuration. The integrated power GaNs have RDS(ON) of 150 mΩ and 650 V drain-source breakdown voltage, while the high side of the embedded gate driver can be easily supplied by the integrated bootstrap diode. features UVLO protection on both the lower and upper driving sections, preventing the power switches from operating in low efficiency or dangerous conditions, and the interlocking function avoids cross-conduction conditions.
The ST-ONE is the world’s first digital controller embedding an Arm Cortex M0+ core, an offline programmable controller with synchronous rectification, and USB PD PHY in a single package. It is designed to control ZVS non-complementary active clamp flyback converters to create high-power density chargers and adapters with a USB-PD interface.
Along with the above key topics ST booth also displayed a 3kW high-density and high-efficiency telecom rectifier solution, a 5 kW low voltage high current inverter for industrial motor control applications and an Industrial PLC evaluation board with an HMI interface.