New microcontrollers raise performance and enhance security for IoT and embedded applications

The STM32U5 series of MCUs from STMicroelectronics takes advantage of the security capabilities of the Arm Cortex-M33 core. Advanced graphics features enable these low-power MCUs to produce smartphone-like display effects.

STMicroelectronics has expanded its STM32U5 series of microcontrollers, introducing new devices that raise performance and enhance security while cutting power consumption. 

The new MCUs are based on the Arm® Cortex®-M33 core, which offers excellent performance and energy efficiency alongside resistance to online attacks. Around this core, ST has implemented an architecture that takes advantage of established Arm features, such as a memory protection unit and the TrustZone architecture, to produce superior cybersecurity. The MCUs also integrate cryptographic accelerators for advanced AES algorithms, provide support for public key architecture, and enhance resistance to physical attacks. 

The STM32U5 MCUs have received certification from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology for their embedded random-number entropy source, the industry’s first MCUs to receive this endorsement. As the certification is reusable by customers, it simplifies and speeds certification for those applications that need SP800-90B final certification.

The STM32U5 series also breaks the constraints on graphics performance that typically apply to ultra low-power MCUs. Variants with ST’s advanced NeoChrom graphics processing unit on-chip can run a sophisticated graphical user interface (GUI), a capability that was previously only possible with an expensive microprocessor-based system. A tiny, embedded processor can now host smartphone-like user experiences. The STM32U5 MCUs also support GUI development using ST’s sophisticated TouchGFX GUI development tool.

The new MCUs in the STM32U5 series provide larger code and data Flash storage of 128 kbytes for cost-sensitive applications, while also adding high-density versions for complex applications and sophisticated smartphone-like user interfaces. Among these, the STM32U59x and STM32U5Ax devices offer 4 Mbytes of Flash and 2.5 Mbytes of SRAM, the largest on-chip memory of any STM32 MCU.

With their increased capabilities, the new MCUs open up new opportunities in deeply embedded applications, especially those operating in remote locations that are difficult to reach. 

Like all STM32 MCUs, the STM32U5 parts benefit from the powerful and easy-to-use STM32Cube and STM32Cube.AI development ecosystem. This ecosystem consolidates tools and software to support customer projects from start to finish, including the creation of cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions through conversion of pre-trained neural networks to optimized code.