STMicro announces ARM extension to STM32L microcontrollers

STMicroelectronics has expanded its range of 32-bit STM32L microcontrollers.

The expansion now means that engineers can use devices with memory densities of 256 and 384 Kbytes. These give a Flash memory range from 32 up to 384 Kbytes

The range is claimed to be the “industry’s first” ultra-low-power ARM Cortex M3 MCUs, which are available from a top-10 silicon supplier. They are claimed to offer 33 DMIPS performance at 32MHz. The idea is that they will be fit into a range of exercise and healthcare devices.

There’s also a “dedicated” low-leakage 130nm process technology and optimised power-saving architecture, which ST claims is specially designed for the company and will help when it comes to energy saving concerns.  ST’s EnergyLite feature also allows designers to  make better use of battery life.

The company has also decided to sneak in an extra announcement, claiming that the STM32L’s USB drivers are ready for use in Continua Health Alliance certified applications. This means that they can be used in devices such as exercise watches, blood pressure monitors, thermometers, weighing scales and glucose meters and provide a bridge of communication between people and a specialist such as doctor or fitness instructor.

 “The ultra-low-power STM32L series delivers the optimal balance between power consumption and performance for developers of leading-edge embedded applications,” said Michel Buffa, general manager of ST’s Microcontroller Division.

“The extension of the series to include an even wider range of memory capacities, in addition to the certification from Continua, will bolster STM32L’s credentials to be the first choice microcontroller for ‘energy-lite’ applications across a range of markets from healthcare to consumer to industrial.”

The 64 and 128-Kbyte memory densities are expected to be available by the end of March while the MCUs with 32-Kbyte memories will follow in Q2 2011.

ARM recently announced microcontroller licensing deals with Fujitsu and NXP, too.