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  Date:21st May 2012

ST Micro' Vinay answers to Qs related to replacing 8/16 bit MCU with 32-bit

Vinay Thapliyal, Technical Marketing Manager (Microcontrollers), ST Microelectronics India answers to questions related to replacing 8/16 bit MCU with 32-bit.

Q1: What are applications which require higher performance but without rising the MCU cost?

Vinay: Nowadays, newer applications demand higher real time performance. This requires MCUs having higher performance. Below are some of applications which can be targeted with STM32F0 however it is not limited to them.
Industrial- Home Automation/HVAC/Sensors.
Home Appliances- Motor Control/Power Tools
Consumer Applications- Printers/Gaming/USB/RF Dongle/Remote control.
The STM32 F0 supports the HDMI Consumer Electronics Communication (CEC) protocol. Important for devices targeted for consumer markets, this peripheral enables devices to have smart control over multiple HDMI lines. For devices needing remote control capabilities, ST provides a full infrared firmware library.

Q2. How can engineers can redesign their boards faster by replacing 8/16 bit with STM32F0?

Vinay: While shifting a platform from one controller to another, hardware needs to be changed .However, thanks to the high level compilers like C which makes the migration of platforms very simple.
Cortex M0 has the smallest instruction set in its Cortex M architecture value chain which is easy to adapt.

Developers can easily migrate designs between different STM32 MCUs as all STM32 MCUs are upward code-compatible. Most STM32 devices are also pin-compatible, simplifying hardware redesign as well. Furthermore, STM32 MCUs are also peripheral and system function compatible, meaning that even migrating low-level code is a seamless and transparent process. Very easily and quickly adaptable due to the use of same tools and environment.

Q3. Is there any additional interfaces such as LCD display, wireless interface available from ST or 3rd party for Discovery Kit?
Vinay: The Discovery Tool Kits have got STM32F0 device and all pins are available outside. It can easily be interfaced with LCD or any other supporting peripheral devices.

Q4. Can the engineers buy the chips and kit online?

Vinay: Yes, the Discovery Tool Kits can be bought online. They are also available at our local channel partners in India from May end onwards at $7.99 USD.

Author: Srinivasa Reddy N
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