STMicroelectronics has revealed a new high-performance device that it says punches above its weight by combining performance, scalability and security of microprocessor-based systems that are typically more complex with the simplicity and integration of microcontrollers (MCUs).

Using these new STM32H7 MCUs, producers of equipment like smart appliances, smart-building controllers, industrial automation, and personal medical devices can evolve their products more quickly and cost effectively as end-users’ demands continue to increase. Examples include adding richer, colourful user interfaces and performing multiple functions simultaneously, which is usually achieved with microprocessors (MPU).

“Our STM32 is already the world’s most popular Arm Cortex-M microcontroller family, and the latest STM32H7 devices let designers address even more use cases within this powerful ecosystem,” said Patrick Aidoune, general purpose MCU Division general manager, STMicroelectronics. “Its MPU-like qualities deliver outstanding core performance with the peripheral integration and convenience of an MCU, at a cost-effective price point.”

“With a dedicated graphics processor and fast memory interfaces on-chip, these MCUs are perfectly aligned with our mission to push the boundaries of what's possible in embedded displays,” commented Kamil Kozlowski, CEO of Riverdi, a lead customer for the STM32H7R/S MCUs. Riverdi has chosen the devices to power its next generation of display modules. “The MCUs promise to enhance the visual performance and responsiveness of future displays, enabling more engaging and interactive user experiences. This represents a significant step forward in our journey to provide cutting-edge display solutions to our customers.”

ST’s new STM32H7R and STM32H7S microcontrollers come with robust security features, needed to address Internet of Things (IoT) applications. They include protection against physical attacks, memory protection, code isolation to protect the application at runtime, and platform authentication. The STM32H7S devices provide further security enhancement by integrating immutable root of trust, debug authentication, and hardware cryptographic accelerators that support the latest algorithms to prevent unauthorized access to code and data. With these security features, the devices are targeting up to SESIP3 and PSA Level 3 certifications, meeting the highest industry standards for cyber protection.

The STM32H7 MCUs combine the highest-performing Arm Cortex-M core ST has yet announced (Cortex-M7 running at up to 600MHz) with minimal on-chip memory and high-speed external interfaces. They let engineers build systems with extra performance and flexibility using simple, low-cost microcontroller development tools. The devices available are further divided into the STM32H7R3/S3 general-purpose MCUs and the STM32H7R7/S7 with enhanced graphics-handling capabilities. Developers can share software extensively between the two lines, enabling efficient use of project resources and faster time to market for new products.

Michela Menting, senior research director from ABI Research, said: “IoT hardware security is the holy grail for created trusted devices. The difficulty has been to offer a high-level of security for MCU-based embedded hardware, while achieving MPU-performance in a cost-effective manner; three criteria that are not often seen together in the market. The new STM32H7 MCUs appear to offer just that, with security front and centre, built to perform the multi-application requirements of privacy-hungry markets in the consumer and industrial space.”