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ST combines MCU, components in development environment

11 Nov 2014

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STMicroelectronics has opened up a so-called efficient development path for innovative devices in applications including the Internet of Things, with a development environment based on its STM32 microcontrollers.

The STM32 Open Development Environment (ODE) is a fusion of STM32 MCU and other ST components—which are used for sensing and control, among others—connected via expansion boards. The solution comprises four elements: Nucleo development board, Nucleo expansion boards, Cube software and Cube expansion software.

STM32 Open Development Environment

Engineers can begin with the target Nucleo development board, then select from the growing range of plug-in, stackable STM32 Nucleo expansion boards to add sense, control, connectivity, power, audio or other functions as needed. This creates a hardware platform for fast prototyping using components that can quickly be transformed into final designs.

Meanwhile, the free STM32Cube tools and software can work within popular development environments, including IAR EWARM, Keil MDK-ARM, GCC-based IDEs, or online mbed. These tools facilitate configuration of the STM32 Nucleo development board, as well as the downloading of additional software, to create and run the targeted functionality on the selected expansion boards.

"ST has a vast range of state-of-the-art components that provide vital functionality for embedded systems, and our new STM32 Open Development Environment now modularizes access to these components to support innovation and rapid prototyping," said Paul Grimme, EVP of Mass Market and Online Marketing Programs at STMicroelectronics.

The STM32 family spans the ultra-low-power STM32 L0 series to the very high performance STM32 F7 series. To date, ST has released nine STM32 Nucleo development boards supporting STM32 F0, F1, F3, and F4 microcontrollers, including ultra-low-power STM32 L0 and L1 devices. The boards have ST Morpho and Arduino-compatible headers on-board to provide even greater expansion opportunities.

Currently available expansion boards from ST deliver motion and environmental sensing, Bluetooth Smart, motor control, and Near-Field Communications (NFC) functions. Battery management, Wi-Fi, sub-GHz radio, light/proximity-sensing and audio expansion boards are planned for late-2014 introduction. STM32Cube expansion software is provided free of charge for every STM32 Nucleo expansion board. Developers can also take advantage of third-party expansion boards that are compatible with the Nucleo development boards.

The STM32Cube platform includes the STM32CubeMX graphical configurator and initialisation C-code generator, and a set of rich embedded-software components including a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) and middleware applicable to the target microcontroller. This provides access to all the generic software components needed for application development in a convenient package that saves assessing interdependencies between software from different sources.

The STM32CubeMX tools and embedded software libraries can be downloaded for free online. STM32 Nucleo development and expansion boards are in production now, priced at $10.32.

Introduction to STM32 Open Development Environment.

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