There is also an Ethernet interface featuring the hardware support for IEEE1588 precision time protocol (PTP). Implementing the protocol in the hardware decreases CPU overhead and allows faster response for the real-time applications and when synchronizing networked devices.

The new STM32 connectivity line is also the first STM32 family to include the two CAN2.0B controllers, which enables developers to build gateway devices linking two controller area network (CAN) buses. Moreover the new microcontrollers (MCUs) support simultaneous operation of the Ethernet, USB OTG and CAN2.0B peripherals, thereby allowing developers to build gateway devices using a combination of these interfaces in a single chip.

‘This new MCU family brings the benefits of the STM32 architecture to extra applications in the industrial, medical, building automation, home audio, and domestic appliance markets,’ stated Jim Nicholas, general manager of STMicroelectronics’s Microcontroller Division. ‘There are now 75 MCUs across all STM32 families, benefiting from the 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 processor and complete pin-to-pin and software compatibility, enabling our customers to base a complete line of products on a single MCU platform.’

The new STM32 delivers increased audio capabilities, utilizing an advanced phase-locked loop scheme, allowing audio-class I2S communications. Integrated with the ability to act as a USB host or device, the new STM32 can read, decode and output audio from the external storage like a USB mass-storage device or MP3 player. Human-machine-interface (HMI) functions like play and stop buttons, and also display interfacing, can also be hosted on MCU. This will enable use in a variety of home-audio products, like docking systems, alarm-clock/music players and home theatre.

The combination of the advanced, connectivity-oriented peripherals, new STM32 peripherals including a PWM timer, and the high processing performance of 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 CPU also enable developers to consolidate multiple functions like motor-control, user-interface control and the connectivity features in equipment like domestic appliances, building controls or industrial automation. Other applications will include systems requiring network accessibility, data-logging, or USB peripheral extension, like patient monitors, point-of-sale terminals, vending machines, and safety or security systems.

Among software and the development tools supporting the new STM32 families incorporating the new STM32 connectivity line, there is a free software library offered by the company and also broad-based support from third-party tools. An evaluation board will also be available.