MCUs boost efficiency to energy-sensitive devices
Volume production has begun for the energy-efficient ARM Cortex-M0+ STM32L0 microcontrollers. There is a development ecosystem including minimal-cost boards and free software tools.
The STM32L0 microcontroller can be used for energy-sensitive applications including wearables, medical monitors, industrial sensors, and smart-living devices. It achieves class-leading energy efficiency of 135 ULPMark -C certified and 158.7 ULPMark -C with a DC/DC converter. The company’s proprietary process technology is highly temperature-stable, for what the company claims is best-in-class power consumption at 125°C.
Three versions are available: the STM32L0x1 Access Line, STM32L0x2 USB line with crystal-less USB2.0 full speed, and the HMI-ready STM32L0x3 USB/LCD line. Memory densities are from 8.0 to 192kbyte flash, up to 20kbyte SRAM, and up to 6kbyte true EEPROM. According to the company, a 14pin package option makes these the world’s smallest STM32 MCUs, providing 32bit performance to entry-level embedded applications.
A low-power ADC draws only 41µA at 12bit resolution and 10ksample/s. Energy-saving modes including 340nA stop with full RAM retention and auto wake-up. There is also a low-power pulse counter (16bit timer) that remains available in ultra-low power mode; and 3.5µs wake-up from stop. There is also an interconnect matrix that allows data handling to continue while the CPU is idle.
Software development is supported by STM32CubeMX and the STM32CubeL0 middleware and firmware suite. The STM32CubeMX initialisation code generator and MCU configurator has wizards including a power-consumption calculator. STM32CubeL0 includes a hardware abstraction layer (HAL) that simplifies porting to other devices within the pin- and code-compatible STM32 family. In addition, STM32Snippets provides optimised code samples. STM32Cube provides over 200 free code examples. All STM32Cube tools are available free of charge, as are the ST-Link debugger and the DfuSe and Flash Loader tools.
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