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STMicroelectronics STM32 F4 is the Fastest Cortex M4

By Bill Giovino
Sep 21, 2011 - 9:26:50 PM

Sprints along at 168MHz. Low power for a Cortex M4. From the company that owns the Cortex market. Really?
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STMicroelectronics has introduced their new STM32 F4 series of microcontrollers. Based on the ARM Cortex-M4 core, the STM32 F4 adds floating-point unit and faster instructions. STMicroelectronics claims this is the highest-performance Cortex-M4 processor-based microcontroller in the market.

According to ARM, STMicroelectronics has a 45% market share of the Cortex M market.

The STM32 F4 is made in ST's 90nm process and runs at 168MHz.

STM32 F4 Features

STM32 F4 Block diagram
STM32 F4 Block diagram
Features of the new STM32 F4 family include:

  • 168MHz Cortex M4 Core
  • 1.7 to 3.6V operation
  • Floating-point Unit
  • Crypto hardware block
  • analog random number generator
  • CRC calculation unit
  • Up to 1 MBytes Flash Memory
  • Up to 192KBytes RAM
  • General Purpose DMA
  • Real-time clock
  • Up to 17 timers
  • Three 12-bit ADC blocks with up to 24 inputs each at 7.2 MPS in triple interleaved mode
  • Two 12-bit D/A converters
  • Static memory controller supports Compact Flash, SRAM, PSRAM, NOR and NAMD Flash
  • LCD parallel interface with 8080/6800 modes
  • Up to 140 I/O pins
    - up to 136 Fast I/O at 84 MHz
    - up to 138 5 Volt I/Os
  • Up to three I2C interfaces
  • Up to four USARTs
    - 10.5 Mbits/sec supports ISO 7816, LIN, IrDA, modem
  • Up to three SPIs at 37.5 Mbits/sec
  • Two CAN 2.0b interfaces
  • USB 2.0 OTG with on-chip PHY
  • 10/100 Ethernet MAC
  • On-chip temperature sensor
  • 8- to 14-bit parallel camera interface
  • Packages: LQFP64, LQFP100, LQFP144, LQFP176, UFBGA176

Family features are broken down as follows:

STM32F405x: a complete set of advanced peripherals including timers, three ADCs, two DACs, serial interfaces, external memory interface, RTC, CRC calculation unit and analog true Random Number Generator. STM32F405 microcontrollers have a USB On-The-Go (OTG) full-speed/high-speed interface. Available in four packages (WLCSP64, LQFP64, LQFP100, LQFP144) with 1 Mbyte of Flash.

STM32F407 microcontrollers add several peripherals to the STM32F405 features: a second USB OTG interface (full-speed only); an integrated Ethernet MAC 10/100 supporting both MII and RMII, with IEEE1588 Precise Time Protocol v2 Hardware support and an 8- to 14-bit parallel camera interface allowing the connection of a CMOS camera sensor, supporting up to 67.2 Mbytes/s. STM32F407 microcontrollers are available in four packages (LQFP100, LQFP144, LQFP/BGA176), with from 512 Kbytes to 1 Mbyte of Flash.

The STM32F415 and STM32F417 microcontrollers add a crypto/hash processor to the STM32F405 and STM32F407. This crypto/hash processor includes hardware acceleration for AES 128, 192, 256, Triple DES, HASH (MD5, SHA-1). As an example of the performance achieved by the crypto/hash processor, the AES-256 encryption throughput reaches up to 149.33 Mbytes/s.

STM32 F4 Performance
The STM32 F4 can achieve zero-wait states out of flash while running at 168MHz. The STM32 F4 does this with a 128-bit Flash interface that allows the STM32 F4 to access four instructions at a time. Of course, performance hits a slight bump when a branch occurs. The microcontroller also boasts data and branch caches.

The STM32 F4 draws 230uA/MHz (plus static current draw). At 168MHZ, the core requires 38.6mA

Availability and Price
All STM32 F4 microcontrollers are in volume production, with prices beginning from $5.74 for the STM32F407VET6 with 512 Kbytes of Flash and 192 Kbytes RAM in the LQFP100 package, 1K unit quantities.

About STMicroelectronics
STMicroelectronics is a global leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications with innovative semiconductor solutions. ST aims to be the undisputed leader in multimedia convergence and power applications leveraging its vast array of technologies, design expertise and combination of intellectual property portfolio, strategic partnerships and manufacturing strength. In 2010, the Company's net revenues were $10.35 billion

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STMicroelectronics STM32 F4 is the Fastest Cortex M4

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Product data and specifications in this article are the responsibility of the manufacturer. No warrenty is expressed or implied as to the accuracy of manufacturer-supplied data. So there.
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