The ST7FOX is STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) new ultra-low-cost series of Flash microcontrollers (MCUs) intended for highly cost-sensitive products such as electric bicycles (ebikes), air conditioning, small appliances, and sensors. The ST7FOX series includes devices with from 2KB to 8KB of on-chip Flash memory, and with eight to 32 pins, all of which are priced below the critical 50 cent ($0.50) threshold.
The ST7FOX MCUs are built on an industry-standard 8-bit architecture and achieve their low unit cost with a simplified feature set, while maintaining the benefits of a robust and proven technology. ST7FOX operates at +5V (plus or minus 10%) power supply, and includes a relaxed RC oscillator which can be calibrated within the application.
- 5 V power supply
- 2- to 8-Kbyte Flash memory
- 8- to 32-pins in surface or through hole mount packages
- Precise internal RC (calibration required)
- Flash memory with up-to-date architecture
- Fast 10-bit A/D converter
- 8-, 12- and 16-bit timers
- I²C, SPI communication interfaces
- Embedded debug module
The CISC (complex instruction set computer) architecture is a significant advantage for the production of compact code matching the small memory footprint of the family’s devices, with nested interrupt management and a variety of addressing modes in the core architecture simplifying high level language coding.
ST7FOX is designed to satisfy the increasing needs in the industry for reliable low-end and very low-cost MCUs for use in cost-critical applications. However its upgrade path to the easy-to-use ST7Lite family – itself a cost-effective solution – also enables manufacturers to build scalable product families to address broader markets.
The very low pricing enables designers to implement a microcontroller solution to replace electromechanical or logic-based control, and for the same cost as ROM devices this Flash-based family will ease inventory management and simplify the supply-chain.A free integrated development environment (IDE), including a C compiler, minimizes costs for developers.
Samples of ST7FOX are available now in: 8-pin DIP or SO-8 packaged devices with 2-Kbytes of Flash, and 32-pin DIP or LQFP devices with 4-Kbytes of Flash. All are priced at less than $0.50 in large quantities.