STMicro Dev Boards

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by Potato Pudding, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Potato Pudding

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    I don't want to miss out on what seems to be a bargain worth trying and I am interested enough to want to have a look at this board.

    STMicro 32 Discovery

    What I am wondering is even though it is a new product, has anyone else had a look at one of these boards, or maybe have any relevant opinions?

    I have enough stuff to play with. I could probably play with my current gear for a few years before I had them figured out too well. Is this STM board going to add any experience compared to my boards for PIC, AVR, and TI chips?

    I will admit that I am not even close to fully using the abilities of chips like the PIC16F# & 18F#, the ATMEGAs, and MSP430, and I am also not in a hurry to mess with anything faster than 8MHz. The timing and design problems for higher frequency work are too spicy for me to want to play.

    I also see that 32bit chips like the STM32F100RB and the comparable products from other chip fabbers are going to keep moving from affordable towards bargain pricing.

    For $2.50 per chip in volume pricing it potentially does much more than several of the first desktop computers that I owned.

    Basically, is there anyone out there wanting to push me towards either side of the fence?
  2. colinb

    Active Member

    Jun 15, 2011
    I bought two of the STM32VLDISCOVERY from Mouser because they were so cheap (US$11.00). They are a fantastic deal! There are so many I/O pins and peripherals, and the MCU is very powerful even though the maximum clock rate is 24 MHz since it is a 32-bit Cortex-M3 core, so it can do a lot of work in each clock cycle.

    Because I use Linux and free software for my development, the "ST-Link" protocol debug/programming chip on the board did not work for me, but I was able to make use of the awesome Versaloon firmware and vsprog+OpenOCD programmer and debugger system.

    One thing I really like about the STM32 line of microcontrollers is that the entire line is pin-compatible. So you can start with a $2.00 Value Line chip and replace it with a 72 MHz, 1 MB flash Performance Line chip with ease. And you have a choice of 48 pin, 64 pin, and 100 pin packages even in the low-cost range. I have never seen such inexpensive 64-pin and 100-pin 32-bit microcontrollers.

    I started out an NXP LPC1000 fan due to raw clock speed for very little money, but ST's STM32 has a lot going for it in terms of (1) consistency across the line, (2) the STM32 Standard Peripheral Library as well as all the examples, (3) a DMA controller even in the low-cost Value Line MCUs, (4) a real-time clock in the low-cost MCUs that can be run at 32.768 kHz if desired (compare to NXP's LPC1300 line that has no RTC, or the LPC1700 that has an RTC with only 1 second resolution, so no subsecond precision).
  3. colinb

    Active Member

    Jun 15, 2011
    P.S. if you compare an ARM Cortex-M3 to AVR, PIC, or 8051, you will see that the Cortex-M3 provides a tremendously better value with respect to RAM and flash capacity, I/O pin count, and arithmetic performance. Not to mention multi-vendor support for the Cortex-M3 architecture: TI, STMicroelectronics, Toshiba, Freescale, Energy Micro, Atmel, ... just to name a few.