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23 February 2010

STMicroelectronics’ STM8 microcontroller families are based on a platform of technologies, IPs and tools

STMicroelectronics’ STM8 microcontroller families are based on a platform of technologies, IPs and tools.

The STM8S-Discovery kits cover a range of applications from low power and consumer electronics through to home appliances and factory automation to automotive.

The microcontrollers in the STM8 family are manufactured using an ST-proprietary 130nm embedded non-volatile memory technology. The STM8S is the industrial version of this microcontroller platform.

In order to access the whole customer base, especially in the mass market, a low-cost approach was chosen for letting the users discover STM8S. It consists of a small board containing a USB-based debug interface, the STM8S microcontroller, a capacitive touch sensor and a prototyping area, accompanied by the ST standard tools like a free IDE and free compiler versions.

In the pursuit of developing a tool that is literally accessible for everyone, the low cost approach has been taken and customers can start application development straight away with:
• A fully flavored debugger
• The STM8S microcontroller
• A compiler (downloadable)
• An IDE (downloadable)
• Software examples (downloadable)

At the same time, the minimalist approach of this lean tool without expensive housing, packaging (no CD or printed user manual needed) reduces waste.

The modular design of the discovery kit hardware allows separating the debugger part from the microcontroller part. This transforms the kit into a USB-based debugger to be connected to the customer target application board via the ST single wire debug interface.

Being supported by a forums page in the future, where users can exchange application examples and problem solutions, this tool will satisfy developers, support teams, and hobbyists around the world. Universities and students can benefit as well from the low budget setup.

The board is divided in two parts, the USB based debugger called STLINK and the application board containing the STM8S, a capacitive touch button, and the wrap area. The two boards can be separated at a predetermined breaking point and the debugger can then be connected to any STM8S application via the SWIM interface.

The SWIM is a single wire interface module that allows direct access to the debug module, the registers and the device memory. The interface can be activated in all device operation modes and supports debugging and programming of the device via the non-intrusive debug module. This module is present on each single STM8 device. It is hooked on the internal bus and allows breakpoint setting and CPU monitoring and control.


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