STMicro Unveils Its "Highest-Performing" Arm Cortex-M-Based STM32s Yet, the STM32H7R/S Range

Designed to boot to external storage with zero wait-state execution, these new 600MHz microcontrollers blur the line between MCU and MPU.

Gareth Halfacree
1 month agoHW101

STMicroelectronics has unveiled new entries in the STM32H7 range, the STM32H7R3/7 and STM32H7S3/7, which offer what the company describes as "the highest-performing Arm Cortex-M core" it has yet announced — designed to provide microprocessor-like performance with the simplicity of a microcontroller.

"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," claims Patrick Aidoune of STMicro's latest parts. “Its MPU [microprocessor unit]-like qualities deliver outstanding core performance with the peripheral integration and convenience of an MCU [microcontroller unit], at a cost-effective price point."

STMicro's new STM32H7R/S chips blur the line between microcontrollers and microprocessors. (📹: STMicroelectronics)

Coming less than a week after STMicro announced the first 64-bit parts in the STM32 family, built around an Arm Cortex-A35 microprocessor core, the new STM32H7R3/7 and STM32H7S3/7 offer a more familiar 32-bit microprocessor core in the form of the Arm Cortex-M7 running at a clock speed of up to 600MHz and with a double-precision floating-point unit (FPU) and integrated digital signal processor (DSP). At a claimed 1,2784 Dhrystone Million Instructions per Second (DMIPS) and with a 3,174 Coremark benchmark score, they're the company's fastest Cortex-M-based STM32 parts yet for single-threaded workloads.

The new chips come in four models: the STM32H7R3 is the base model; the STM32H7S3 adds hardware security blocks, including cryptographic acceleration; the STM32H7R7 drops the hardware security blocks but includes a NeoChrom graphics processor; and the range-topping STM32H7S7 has both the security blocks and the NeoChrom GPU. All models include the ability to boot from external memory, STMicro has confirmed, with zero wait-state execution — a requirement, as there's only a minimal 64kB of bootflash storage to go with the 620kB of static RAM (SRAM) on each chip.

As with STMicro's other recent launches, the S-suffixed models are designed to meet the requirements of Security Evaluation Standard for IoT Platforms (SESIP) Level 3 certification — meaning they will qualify for the US Cyber Trust Mark, unveiled back in July 2023, if certification requirements are indeed met.

The new chips are now sampling to "lead customers," with STMicro planning volume production in April; pricing for the parts has yet to be confirmed, but STMicro has priced the STM32H7S8-DK demonstration platform and NUCLEO-H7S3L8 development board at $99 and $35 respectively. More information is available on the STMicro website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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