STM32F4xx microcontroller series with ARM® Cortex-M4F core can be applied in medical equipment, engine management controllers, in measurement devices, point of sale, in household audio-systems and in security equipment. And the price is compatible with that of the previous family with ARM® Cortex-M3 core.
ARM® Cortex-M4 core itself was announced in 2010 and as early as in 2011 there appeared a STM32F4xx family from STMicro. In a year STMicro launched a STM32F3xx series. This family is referred to the so-called digital signal controllers and combines advantages of classical microcontrollers with a well-developed set of peripherals and calculating power of specialized processors which allow performing floating-point calculations at the hardware level.
The fact that STM32F3 series is pin-compatible with controllers of STM32F1, STM32F2 and STM32F4 series is of great importance. Hence, developers have an opportunity, on the one hand to achieve compute-intensive processing without a redesign of the printing board, on the other hand to make their devices based on microcontrollers of STM32F4 series cost-effective.
What concerns ARM® Cortex-M4 core, it doesn’t differ much from its predecessor Cortex-M3. As compared to M3, M4 has new instructions, a slightly modified set of commands and a higher core operating frequency. But the key feature that gives the edge over Cortex-М3 core is availability of a separate module which supports a floating point unit(FPU) in Cortex-M4F series. Thanks to this module, this microprocessor can already solve simple tasks of digital signal processing.
STM32F4 microprocessors have the following peripherals: LCD interface (modes8080/6800), RTC (with4KB RAM powered by Vbat), ATS, DAC, GPIO (general purpose input/output), Timer, I2C, USART, SPI, CAN 2.0B, SDIO/MMC, USB 2.0 OTG, 10/100 Mbit/s EMAC with IEEE1588 version2 support, hardware-based crypto-module (AES-128/192/256, DES, HASH (MD5, SHA-1), HMAC support), hardware module of random number generation, hardware module of CRC computing (32-bit).
Debug board STM32F4DISCOVERY
For the purpose of prompt development the STMicro company produces low-cost debug kits with the help of which new devices can be developed. On STM32F4 DISCOVERY debug, apart from STM32F407 itself, there is a ST-Link v2 debugger, MEMS-microphone, 3-axial accelerometer, audio DAC with an integrated amplifier of D class, user buttons and8 LEDs.
Supporting software for STM32F4xx microcontrollers is solved with the help of a number of available environments and libraries. STMicro Company provides developers with"STM32F4 DSP and standard peripherals library” which helps develop applications based on Cortex-M4 with DSP and embed integrated peripherals into a microcontroller.
- There exists a number of external environments(such as IAR Embedded Workbench® ARM, Rowley® CrossWorks, Atollic True Studio, etc.) for creation of a Bare-Metal application. Besides, there is always a possibility to work with open software such as ARM GNU Toolchain and Eclipse environment.
- Different open and proprietory OS can be used to create multithreaded applications:FreeRTOS, eCos, RTX (Keil), etc.
AXONIM Devices Company is ready to offer its experience and best practices in the sphere of development of specialized software with the use of a real-time operating system FreeRTOS. Competence and experience of our developers makes it possible to launch high-quality products on the market in the shortest time possible. We have developed a special environment for software operating and testing on microcontrollers which allows us to guarantee the quality of the executed projects.
For this operating system we have prepared a BSP(board support package) and created an ecosystem with the help of which our team of professionals develops applied software for our clients all over the world.