STMicroelectronics has unveiled an 8-bit microcontroller platform, STM8, based on a high-performance 8-bit core and manufactured using an ST-proprietary 130 nm embedded non-volatile memory technology.
The STM8 platform will be the foundation for a number of distinct product families each optimized for specific application areas, one of which is automotive.
ST estimates the 8-bit MCU market to be worth approximately $5 billion and predicts unit growth from 4.4 billion in 2007 to 6.5 billion in 2011. Unit growth in automotive applications is expected to be around 40% between 2007 and 2013.
The STM8 platform leverages a Harvard architecture with 16-bit index registers and a stack pointer, 16 Mbyte linear address space, advanced addressing modes, and other features designed to support C-programming. The core reaches an average of 1.6 cycles per instruction with 20 MIPS of peak performance at 24 MHz using a 3-stage pipeline.
STM8 technology was chosen with the aim of reducing system costs through a high level of integration, and the ability to embed non-volatile data memory and provide excellent analog performance in a voltage range from 1.65 V to 5.5 V. I/O pads were designed to withstand a high level of external disturbances, without a need for external protection elements. The platform offers embedded EEPROM with endurance and retention comparable to those of external components, eliminating the need for complex Flash-based emulation strategies. On-chip Flash program memory sizes will range up to 256K. The technology options allow high-speed operation as well as low power consumption. Automotive grade products will operate at temperatures of up to 145 °C.
The STM8 peripherals are homogeneous across ST's new 32-bit micro-C families such as the STM32 range, allowing the STM8 to complement ST's 32-bit MCU portfolio.
ST will introduce the first STM8 family in the first half of 2008.