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Crypto-enhanced MCUs target always-on sensor acquisition

Two microcontroller lines from STMicroelectronics increase energy efficiency, flexibility, and feature integration at the high end of the STM32F4 Access Line for high-performance embedded designs. Qualified up to 125°C, these STM32 devices target always-on sensor acquisition and general-purpose industrial applications and present a robust and cost-effective upgrade from STM32F1 MCUs.

The STM32F413 and crypto-enhanced STM32F423 integrate up to 1.5MB Flash and dense SRAM of 320KB. These are the most highly featured of the STM32F4 Access Lines, with rich audio capabilities including a Serial Audio Interface (SAI) and an enhanced voice-acquisition interface with multi-channel Digital Filter for Sigma-Delta Modulators (DFSDM) that enables low-power sound localisation and beam forming. The devices also provide peripheral integration, with two 12-bit Digital-Analogue Converters (DACs), up to 10 UARTs, and three CAN 2.0B active interfaces. The crypto-enhanced STM32F423 also has a True Random-Number Generator (TRNG) and AES-256 cryptographic hardware accelerator.

Sitting at the top of the STM32F4 Access Lines, the MCUs introduce a 100MHz dual-mode Quad SPI for connecting serial off-chip memory, 16-bit Flexible Memory Controller (FMC) for external SRAM, PSRAM or NOR Flash, up to 16-bit QVGA or 8-bit WQVGA LCD interface, and USB OTG with Link Power Management (LPM) and dual power rails that save external level shifting.

In addition, both lines feature a RAM-access scheme that uses the Instruction and Data (I/D) buses and the System BUS (SBUS) to connect to separate RAM1 (256KB) and RAM2 (64KB) areas thereby minimising contentions. An enhanced DMA Batch Acquisition Mode (BAM+) takes advantage of these separate RAM1 and RAM2 areas to process code and data extremely efficiently in sensor-hub applications.

Delivering high performance, the STM32 microcontrollers combine the 100MHz 125DMIPS/339 EEMBC CoreMark ARM Cortex-M4 core with ST’s power-saving Dynamic Efficiency technologies that cut RUN mode current up to 112µA/MHz. These Dynamic Efficiency technologies include the ST ART Accelerator for zero-wait execution from Flash, and the supply-voltage extending down to 1.7V, to maximise the battery life of always-connected devices.

Designers can immediately start their projects using the NUCLEO-F413ZH development board. This STM32 Nucleo-144 board comes with the ST-LINK/V2-1 debugger/programmer, software libraries and examples, and can be used directly with ARM mbed online resources.