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Home > Embedded Events > What is the Most Powerful Microcontroller -- STM32H7

What is the Most Powerful Microcontroller -- STM32H7

Date: 27-02-2024 ClickCount: 422

In the dynamic world of embedded systems and microcontrollers, the quest for the most powerful device is a pursuit fueled by technological advancements and diverse application needs. Among the contenders for high-performance microcontrollers, the STM32H7 series from STMicroelectronics stands out as a formidable player, showcasing impressive clock speeds and a rich set of features based on the ARM Cortex-M7 core architecture. As industries demand increasingly sophisticated and efficient solutions, the STM32H7 microcontrollers provide a versatile platform for a wide array of applications, from industrial automation to medical devices and beyond.

STM32H7

What is the Most Powerful Microcontroller

A microcontroller is a compact integrated circuit (IC) that contains a processor core, memory, and programmable input/output peripherals. It is designed to perform specific functions within a larger electronic system. Microcontrollers are commonly used in a wide range of embedded systems, where they can be programmed to control various devices and processes.

 

It's challenging to pinpoint a single "most powerful" microcontroller because the term "powerful" can be context-dependent, and new microcontrollers are regularly released.

 

Microcontrollers come in various architectures, with different features and capabilities designed for specific applications. Some microcontrollers may excel in terms of processing power, while others might be optimized for low power consumption or specific tasks.

 

High-performance microcontrollers are often based on advanced architectures like ARM Cortex-M7, Cortex-M33, or others, and they may offer features such as higher clock speeds, more memory, and advanced peripherals.

 

To determine the most suitable microcontroller for a specific application, consider factors such as processing power, memory capacity, peripherals, power consumption, and the availability of development tools.

 

Overview of STM32H7

The STM32H7 family of microcontrollers is based on the ARM Cortex-M7 core and boasts a main frequency of up to 400 MHz and more than 1000 DMIPS of processing power. They support 256KB to 2MB of Flash memory and 64KB to 1MB of SRAM, as well as rich peripheral resources such as DMA controllers, timers, communication interfaces, and more.

 

Series of STM32H7

Series

Product

Core Configuration

Frequency

Memory

Features

Dual-Core

STM32H747/757

M7 (480 MHz), M4 (240 MHz)

-

TFT-LCD, MIPI-DSI, JPEG

Dual-core, SMPS, Dynamic Power Efficiency

 

STM32H745/755

M7 (480 MHz), M4 (240 MHz)

-

TFT-LCD, JPEG

Dual-core, Industrial Temperature Range (Optional)

Single-Core

STM32H723/733

M7 (550 MHz)

-

TFT-LCD, Ethernet, Dual Octo-SPI

TFT-LCD, Ethernet, Real-time Decryption

 

STM32H725/735

M7 (550 MHz)

-

TFT-LCD, Ethernet, Dual Octo-SPI

TFT-LCD, Ethernet, Real-time Decryption, SMPS

 

STM32H743/753

M7 (480 MHz)

-

TFT-LCD, JPEG, Ethernet

TFT-LCD, JPEG, Ethernet

 

STM32H742

M7 (480 MHz)

-

Ethernet

Ethernet

 

STM32H7A3/7B3

M7 (280 MHz)

-

TFT-LCD, JPEG, Chrom-GRC™, SMPS

TFT-LCD, JPEG, Chrom-GRC™, Real-time Decryption

Value Series

STM32H750

M7 (480 MHz)

128 KB Flash, 1 MB RAM

TFT-LCD, JPEG

Cost-effective, Dual-mode Quad-SPI, Ethernet

 

STM32H7B0

M7 (280 MHz)

128 KB Flash, 1.4 MB RAM

Dual Octo-SPI, TFT-LCD, JPEG

Cost-effective, Real-time Decryption, Chrom-GRC™

 

STM32H730

M7 (550 MHz)

128 KB Flash, 564 KB RAM

TFT-LCD, Ethernet, Dual Quad-SPI

TFT-LCD, Ethernet, SMPS (some versions)

 

STM32H7 Features

1. Power operation modes: The STM32H7 series provides several power operation modes, such as run mode, sleep mode, and shutdown mode, to meet the power requirements of different application scenarios.

 

2. Low-power operation mode features.

 

- Hibernation Mode: In hibernation mode, the microcontroller can enter a low-power state while maintaining SRAM data to conserve energy. The wake-up source can be an external interrupt, timer, etc.

 

- Stop mode: In stop mode, the STM32H7 microcontroller turns off the master clock and keeps only the RTC clock running to achieve very low power consumption. The wake-up source can be an RTC alarm clock, external interrupt, etc. 3.

 

3. Low power peripherals.

 

- Low-power communication interface: The STM32H7 series microcontrollers have communication interfaces that enable low-power operation, such as SPI for master mode clock synchronization and I2C for fast mode.

 

- Low-power ADC: The ADC module of STM32H7 series microcontrollers can still keep working in low-power mode and trigger the conversion by wake-up source.

 

Is STM32H7 the Fastest Cortex-M7 MCU?

The STM32H7 series, developed by STMicroelectronics, stands out for its impressive clock speeds, particularly in the realm of Cortex-M7 microcontrollers. The series is recognized for offering high-performance solutions for a wide range of embedded applications. One of the notable features that contribute to its performance is the ability to achieve clock speeds of up to 550 MHz in certain variants.

 

This clock speed capability places the STM32H7 series among the fastest Cortex-M7-based microcontroller families currently available in the market. The increased clock speed is crucial for applications that demand rapid signal processing, real-time responsiveness, and the execution of complex algorithms.

 

The STM32H7 series is well-suited for applications in various industries, including industrial automation, automotive, consumer electronics, medical devices, and more, where the combination of high performance and diverse connectivity options is essential. The ability to operate at such high clock speeds allows developers to meet the stringent requirements of demanding applications while leveraging the features and peripherals provided by the STM32H7 microcontrollers. It's worth noting that advancements in microcontroller technology and continuous product development may result in even higher clock speeds and improved features in subsequent releases.

 

STM32H7 Application

Industrial Automation

Automotive (ECUs, ADAS, IVI systems)

Consumer Electronics (audio processing, smart devices)

Medical Devices (monitoring, imaging)

Communications (routers, switches, gateways)

Aerospace and Defense (avionics, radar)

IoT (Edge computing, gateways, sensors)

Human-Machine Interface (GUIs, touchscreens)

Security Systems (access control, surveillance)

Energy Management (power monitoring, renewables)

Audio and Video Processing (multimedia applications)

 

Advantages of STM32H7

The STM32H7 microcontroller offers developers a dual-core architecture for seamless application upgrades, enabling the integration of sophisticated user interfaces. Dual cores simplify code development and enhance versatility.

 

Key Advantages:

 

Flexible Dual-Core Architecture:

 

  • Simplifies code migration and enables the addition of advanced user interfaces to applications.

 

Security Features:

 

  • Pre-installed keys and Secure Firmware Install (SFI) for secure code delivery.
  • Built-in support for Secure Boot and Secure Firmware Update (SB-SFU) for OTA upgrades.

 

Advanced Features:

 

  • Error Code Correction (ECC) enhances memory reliability.
  • Multiple 16-bit ADCs for precise analog signal processing.
  • Operates in ambient temperatures up to 125°C for robust performance in challenging environments.

 

Communication Capabilities:

 

  • Multiple FD-CAN controllers and Ethernet Controller for communication-gateway capabilities.
  • High-resolution timer for generating precision waveforms.

 

Comprehensive Development Ecosystem:

 

  • STM32Cube ecosystem with firmware modules, including graphical solutions (TouchGFX, STemWin).
  • Evaluation, Discovery, and Nucleo boards for efficient development.
  • The STM32H7 series provides a secure, high-performance, and feature-rich platform for diverse embedded applications.

 

Difference between STM32F7 and STM32H7

Here are main differences between STM32F7 and STM32H7 in table,

 

Feature

STM32F7 Series

STM32H7 Series

Performance

Up to 216 MHz

Up to 550 MHz

Memory Options

Various Flash and RAM configurations

Larger Flash and RAM options

Advanced Peripherals

Varied, specific features depend on product variant

Additional features like advanced analog peripherals, multiple CAN FD controllers

Graphics and Display Support

TFT-LCD controllers support

Advanced graphics support, including TFT-LCD controllers, MIPI-DSI, etc.

Security Features

Included, specific implementations may vary

Advanced security features like Secure Boot and Secure Firmware Update (SB-SFU)

Application Focus

Versatile, suitable for a range of applications

Targeted at applications requiring higher performance, extensive memory, and advanced graphics capabilities

 

Manufacturer

STMicroelectronics is the manufacturer of the STM32F7 and STM32H7 series microcontrollers. STMicroelectronics is a global semiconductor company that designs and manufactures a wide range of semiconductor solutions, including microcontrollers, integrated circuits, and other electronic components. The STM32 family of microcontrollers is one of their most popular product lines and is widely used in various embedded systems and applications. The company is known for providing innovative and reliable solutions for the electronics industry.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the STM32H7 series exemplifies the cutting edge of microcontroller technology, offering a compelling combination of processing power, memory capacity, and advanced features. The series not only stands as a testament to the continuous evolution of embedded systems but also serves as a reliable solution for developers navigating the complexities of diverse application domains. As technology continues to advance, microcontrollers like the STM32H7 contribute significantly to the realization of innovative and high-performance electronic systems, shaping the landscape of industries and paving the way for the next generation of embedded applications.

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FAQ

  • Does the STM32H7 series support graphical user interfaces (GUIs)?
  • Yes, the STM32H7 series includes features and resources that make it suitable for applications with graphical user interfaces. It supports external memory interfaces and has a Chrom-ART Accelerator for efficient 2D graphics rendering.
  • What security features are available in the STM32H7 series?
  • The STM32H7 series incorporates security features such as hardware cryptographic accelerators, a True Random Number Generator (TRNG), and secure firmware installation mechanisms to enhance system security.
  • Can the STM32H7 series operate in harsh environments?
  • Yes, the STM32H7 series includes devices with extended temperature ranges and is designed to operate reliably in harsh industrial environments.
  • How is the development of applications done for the STM32H7 series?
  • Development is typically done using integrated development environments (IDEs) such as STM32CubeIDE. STMicroelectronics provides a comprehensive set of development tools, software libraries, and example codes to facilitate application development.

Author

Kristina Moyes is an experienced writer who has been working in the electronics industry for the past five years. With a deep passion for electronics and the industry as a whole, she has written numerous articles on a wide range of topics related to electronic products and their development. Kristina's knowledge and expertise in the field have earned her a reputation as a trusted and reliable source of information for readers interested in the latest advancements in electronics.

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