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  Date: 30/06/2015

The first ARM Cortex M7 microcontroller in volume production

STMicroelectronics is the first chip maker to start volume production of ARM Cortex-M7 processor based microcontroller for high performance consumer, industrial, medical, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.

STM32F7 microcontrollers offer 2x digital-signal processing (DSP) capability for applications requiring high-speed or multi-channel audio, video, wireless, motion recognition, or motor control compared to ARM Cortex M4 based microcontrollers. STM32F7 feature on-chip cache, and is capable of ultra-fast data transfers and high-performance execution from embedded Flash or from external memories such as dual-mode Quad-SPI. STM32 family is known in the market for power efficiency and also pin, peripheral and software compatibility across more than 500 different device variants, and the extensive STM32 development ecosystem.

Advanced peripherals have features such as a dedicated power rail for the USB OTG peripheral and dual clock domain on most peripherals allows the CPU speed to be reduced to minimize power consumption, while keeping the clock frequency unchanged on the communication peripherals.

STM32F7 deliver high processing efficiency of up to 6 CoreMark/mW at 1.8V. At the same time, typical current in Stop mode, with all SRAM saved, is 100µA: similar to that of STM32F469 devices based on the Cortex-M4 core. The unique ART Accelerator graphic engine reduces Flash memory access time, and advanced voltage scaling and underdrive/overdrive that help optimize speed and power consumption.

The STM32F745 has up to 1MB of Flash memory on-chip, as well as 320KB RAM, Ethernet, QSPI and camera interfaces, and a Flexible Memory Controller (FMC). The STM32F76 extends the functionality by integrating a TFT-LCD controller on-chip. The STM32F756 has the same features as the STM32F746 with the addition of a crypto/hash processor providing hardware acceleration for AES-128/-192/-256, with support for GCM and CCM, Triple DES, and hash (MD5, SHA-1 and SHA-2).

The STM32F7 development ecosystem includes both the Discovery Kit and two evaluation boards, STM32746G-EVAL2 and STM32756G-EVAL2, priced at $560 each. The STM32F7 Discovery Kit (STM32F746G-DISCO) gives full flexibility to fine-tune hardware and software at any stage of development, which minimizes financial risks. Developers also benefit from the associated STM32CubeF7 firmware, and the ability to re-use all STM32F4 software assets due to code compatibility.

“ST’s first-to-market advantage and industry-leading architecture and feature integration enable our customers to deliver outstanding products into their own target markets,” said Daniel Colonna, Marketing Director, Microcontroller Division, STMicroelectronics. “Moreover, the strength of our development environment, including immediate availability of the STM32F7 Discovery Kit and firmware, allows rapid design cycles.”

To enable a large diversity of applications, the STM32F7 Discovery Kit comes with the comprehensive STM32Cube firmware library, as well as direct support from a wide ecosystem of software-development tool partners and the ARM mbed online community. The Discovery Kit’s open hardware exposes the STM32F7 assets through an affordable compact design (priced at $49.90) including WQVGA touchscreen color display, stereo audio, multi-sensor support, security, and high-speed connectivity. Together with an integrated ST-Link debugger/programmer (no need for a separate probe), unlimited expansion capability is provided through the Arduino Uno connectivity support and immediate access to a large choice of specialized add-on boards.

The STM32F7 devices are in production now, in a range of package options from a 14mm x 14mm LQFP100 to 28mm x 28mm LQFP208, plus 10mm x 10mm 0.65mm-pitch UFBGA176, 13mm x 13mm 0.8mm-pitch TFBGA216, and 5.9mm x 4.6mm WLCSP143. Prices start from $6.73 for the STM32F745VE in 100-pin LQFP with 512KB on-chip Flash, for orders of 1000 units.

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