By Will Soutter
STMicroelectronics is set to commence volume production for its novel project development platform that employs its new STM32 F3 high performance microcontroller family. The development platform, which is labeled the STM32 F3 Discovery Kit incorporates built-in features like an e-compass characterized by 9 degrees of freedom (DOF) and MEMS sensors-gyroscope.
The computational capabilities and signal processing features of the STM32 F3 microcontrollers facilitate sensor-fusion applications like the Attitude Heading Reference Systems at competitive prices. Designers can employ superior computational abilities and sensor fusion to develop advanced 3D motion sensing devices for applications like augmented reality, robotics, gaming, optical image stabilization, industrial automated systems and portable navigation.
The Discovery Kit for the STM32 F3 consists of a prototype board with a STM32F303 microcontroller and related microchips, input/output pin headers, push-button controls, LED indicators and a USB port for interfacing with computers. The LSM303DLHC 6-axis geomagnetic module and the L3GD20 3-axis digital gyroscope are the MEMS components included in the kit. The STM32 software-development environments from third-party vendors such as Atollic, Keil, IAR and Altium are compatible with the STM32 F3 Discovery Kit. The STM32 F3 devices including the STM32F37x and STM32F30x series that were unveiled in June of 2012 will enter full volume production in the third quarter of 2012.
The STM32F30x microcontrollers employ ARM Cortex-M4 processor that incorporates a Floating-Point Unit and Digital Signal Processor. The processor is suitable for able execution of 3D orientation software like the AHRS algorithms in sensor fusion applications. The STM32F30x also integrates peripheral devices like four 1% accuracy Programmable-Gain Amplifiers, four 12-bit 5Msps Analog-to-Digital converters, two advanced timers and two 12-bit Digital-to-Analog converters.