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STMicroelectronics unveils ARM Cortex-M3 based MCUs on 130nm process

April 19, 2010 // Julien Happich

The STM32L series is what STMicroelectronics claims to be the industry's first ultra-low-power ARM Cortex-M3 microcontrollers, combining a dedicated low-leakage 130nm process technology and optimized power-saving architecture to deliver industry-leading energy-saving performance. The STM32L series is part of ST's EnergyLite platform of ultra low-power products enabling designers to optimize performance, functionality and battery life, and to meet efficiency-related criteria such as eco-design targets.

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In addition to its energy efficiency, the STM32L series also has many features promoting data security and safe system operation, including flexible Brown-Out Reset; on-board Flash with Error Correction Code (ECC) support; a memory protection unit (MPU); and JTAG fuse.

These features are recommended for all applications that require safe product behaviour and highly secure code and user-data management. Integrated USB 2.0 full speed support also makes the devices 'handset ready'. Additionally, the MCU's embedded LCD drivers enable easier, cheaper and smaller application designs.

Joining the extensive STM32 family, which now has over 135 variants offering complete pin, software, and peripherals compatibility for maximum flexibility, the STM32L offers 33DMIPS at 32MHz and offers integrated Flash densities from 64Kbyte to 128Kbyte.

In addition to its underlying process-related power savings, the STM32L series provides numerous features allowing developers to optimize the power consumption of their applications. Six ultra-low-power modes allow the device to fulfill its tasks while consuming the least possible energy at any given time.

Based on preliminary figures at 1.8V/25C, the available modes are :

10.4 microA Low-Power Run mode at 32kHz

6.1 microA Low-Power Sleep mode with one timer active

1.3 microA STOP mode: Real-Time Clock (RTC), context preserved, RAM retention

0.5 microA STOP mode: no RTC, context preserved, RAM retention

1.0 microA Stand-By mode: RTC, back-up register preserved

270 nanoA Stand-By mode: no RTC, Back-up register preserved

Two new low-power modes 'Low-Power Run'and 'Low-Power Sleep'have been implemented in the STM32L series, to drastically reduce power consumption at low frequency operation by using an ultra-low-power regulator and oscillator. The regulator allows current demand to be independent from the supply voltage.

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