At the STM32 Summit in Shenzen, China, STMicroelectronics unveiled its latest 64-bit microcontroller, the STM32MP2. With multiple Arm Cortex cores, a neural processing unit, a graphics accelerator, and multiple high-performance I/O options, ST positioned the new processor for machine learning in Industry 4.0 applications.
The STM32MP2 microprocessor unit (MPU) has single or dual Arm Cortex-A35 cores (1.5 GHz) for high-performance tasks and one Arm Cortex-M33 (400 MHz) for efficiency tasks. These three cores share an (LP-)DD4 interface, neural processing unit (NPU), 3D CPU, and connectivity.
For the A35 cores, the STM32MP2 supports OpenSTLinux. This mainlined distribution is Yocto-based. Previously, it supported the STM32MP1 MPU, which has a single or dual-core Arm Cortex-A7. The M33 core can run bare-metal code or a real-time operating system (RTOS.)
Existing STM32 developers familiar with the STM32MP1 can use the same STM32Cube development tools with the new STM32MP2. Additionally, third-party support enables porting of code from Android applications.
With a MIPI CSI-2 interface for a camera, 1.35 tera operations per second (TOPS) NPU, and time-sensitive networking support, the STM32MP2 is well positioned for vision-based machine learning activities. For example, ST says the STM32MP2 can stream, in real-time, video from a 5-megapixel sensor at 30 frames per second while analyzing it with an AI accelerator and sending h.264 encoded video via Gigabit Ethernet!
On the visual side, the 3D GPU supports 1080p video with a hardware decoder. Display interfaces include RGB, MIPI DSI, and LVDS.
The time-sensitive Gigabit Ethernet is one of many connectivity options available. The STM32MP2 also supports high-performance interfaces like PCI-Express Gen2, USB 3.0, and three CAN-FD.
Security features include Security Evaluation Standard for IoT Platforms (SESIP) Level 3 certification, Arm TrustZone on both the Cortex-A and Cortex-M cores, and what ST calls robust hardware encryption.
This processor falls into ST's long-term support with a 10-year longevity plan. ST plans to make samples available by the end of 2023, with shipments starting in the first half of 2024. You can learn more about the STM32MP2 here.