STMicroelectronics Stokes The Flames: Who Needs 8-bit MCUs Anymore?

By Rich Nass

Executive Vice President

Embedded Computing Design

January 17, 2023

Blog

STMicroelectronics Stokes The Flames: Who Needs 8-bit MCUs Anymore?

We’ve had this discussion (debate? argument?) before—is it time for 8-bit MCUs to go away and be replaced by 32-bit devices that obviously offer way more functionality and come pretty close in cost? The discussion is back on the table thanks to an announcement STMicroelectronics made this week, making the latest entrant in its STM32 family a potential 8-bit killer.

The STM32C0 is aimed at equipment like home appliances, industrial pumps, fans, smoke detectors, and so on, all devices that are typically served by 8- and 16-bit MCUs. By designing in ST’s new 32-bit part, you receive such improvements such as faster response, extra functions, and network connection, without increasing your power consumption or cost.

At the same time, the MCU’s entry-level simplicity and free and extensive support ecosystem with resources including tools and software packs, and the chance to connect with various developer communities to ease entry into the 32-bit world for new users.

The STM32C0 series, now in high-volume production and available for shipment, is covered by ST’s 10-year longevity program for industrial products, renewed every year. Nine package choices are available, offering various attributes such as easy handling, ultra-small form factor, and low profile.

The STM32C0 series integrates a 1.7-MSPS analog-digital converter (ADC) and provides DMA channels that boost application performance and efficiency. The parts run at up to 48 MHz and deliver 44 DMIPS instruction throughput, drawing just 80 µA/MHz in run mode.

Richard Nass’ key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OSM’s ECD portfolio, including digital, print, and live events. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for Design News. Prior, he led the content team for UBM’s Medical Devices Group, and all custom properties and events. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 30 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times, Embedded.com, and TechOnLine. Nass holds a BSEE degree from NJIT.

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