As an IoT driven development team, we are subjected to work with various platforms and protocols. In the past we have extensively worked with microcontrollers like AVR, 8051, PIC etc. Among the list, we have mainly worked with AVR microcontrollers like Atmega, Xmega etc. The latest entrant to that list is STM32 microcontroller. Made by STMicroelectronics, STM32 is powered by a 32-bit RISC ARM Cortex processor. This microcontroller constitutes a core processor, RAM, flash memory, troubleshooting interface and other peripherals.
So what makes STM32 a preferred Microcontroller? The major one would be its ability to perform high speed operations thanks to the ARM Cortex processor series. Since it is a RISC processor, it can perform at relatively higher speed and execute millions of instructions per second. This is achieved by removing unwanted instructions and augmenting pathways. The speed is around one clock per instruction cycle. On the development side, a vast developer community ensures enough support for troubleshooting and debugging. Moreover the makers of STM32, STMicroelectronics have increased unconditional support for its STM series of microcontrollers. They have recently released an advanced library to build and cater any level of applications.
Comparison with ATmega328
Since we have worked over AVR based microcontroller like ATmega328, it would be easier for us to compare with that to STM32. Though STM32 microcontroller is bit on the costlier side comparing to ATmega328, the flash memory and the RAM is much higher. In fact STM32 family offers chips ranging from low priced to more powerful ones. The enhanced memory and storage allow developers more flexibility in designing applications, not to mention a definite increase in the operation speeds.
Another defining factor that goes in favour of STM32 is the number of GPIO’S and other peripheral support. Main communication protocols used are UART, LIN, USART, I2C, SPI, USB, Ethernet, I2S, DSP, SAI, CAN, IrDA etc. STM32 is widely used in electronic devices mainly in phones, tablets, smart watches etc. Tech giants like Apple, NVidia, Qualcomm, Samsung etc. have been manufacturing their products based on the STM32 platform.