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Dual-core Wireless Chip Powers Bluetooth & 802.15.4 IoT Devices

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ST has unleashed a dual-processor wireless chip capable of managing the user application and the radio separately for maximum performance, making it ideal for powering next generation of smart connected objects like digital-home products, wearable electronics, smart lighting, and smart sensors. The STM32WB SoC comes with a fully-featured ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller to run the main computing processes along with an ARM Cortex-M0+ core to offload the main processor and offer real-time operation on the BLE5 and IEEE 802.15.4 radio. The SoC can also run other wireless protocols as OpenThread, ZigBee or other proprietary protocols, opening up many more options for connecting devices to the Internet of Things (IoT).

The STM32WB dual-core MCUs utilize an Arm Cortex‐M4 core running at 64 MHz (application processor) and an Arm Cortex‐M0+ core at 32 MHz (network processor).

Furthermore, the SoC also includes essential circuitry (balun) for connecting to the antenna, which engineers must usually design themselves. The integrated balun, says ST, saves up to nine additional external components. The chips also feature a generous user and system memory.

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Security features include AES 256bit acceleration and on-chip ID to help secure IoT nodes and to support secure over-the-air (OTA) updating of firmware and radio protocols.

The robust and low-power 2.4GHz radio is said to consume only 5.5mA in transmit mode, and as little as 3.8mA when receiving.

STM32WB is supported by wide range of development tools. The ecosystem consists of STM32CubeMX, STM32WB Cube, STM32CubeMonitor-RF and Nucleo kit.

“The STM32WB series delivers the advanced integration and uncompromising dual-core performance that developers now need to meet relentless end-user demands for even better and more affordable smart connected objects,” said Michel Buffa, Group Vice President, Microcontroller Division General Manager, STMicroelectronics. “Moreover, compatibility with the STM32 development ecosystem brings design advantages that can significantly reduce time to market for new products like lights, fitness trackers, medical monitors, beacons, tags, security devices, and many others.”

STM32WB devices will be available in a choice of 48-pin UQFN, 68-pin VQFN, or 100-pin WLCSP with up to 72 general-purpose I/Os (GPIO).

Engineering samples of the STM32WB in packages up to 100-pin WLCSP will begin sampling to lead customers in Q1 2018, priced from $1.56 for high-volume orders.

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