STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a leader in the global semiconductor industry, has recently unveiled a new microcontroller (MCU), the STM32WL3, which exemplifies the fusion of the company’s expertise in wireless-device design with its high-performance STM32 architecture. This latest addition to their portfolio stands out with novel power-saving features, potentially extending battery life in wireless MCUs beyond 15 years.
Applications in Remote Deployment and Smart Technology
The STM32WL3 is particularly valuable in remote applications like metering, monitoring devices, and smart building, factory, and city systems. Its ability to minimize power consumption and prioritize activities is crucial in these settings. The deployment of these MCUs in various sectors is expected to enhance user experience, service delivery, and reduce environmental impacts.
Enhanced Communication and Energy Efficiency
The STM32WL3 incorporates an advanced multi-protocol radio, optimized for long-range communication in the ISM frequency bands. An industry-first feature is its ultra-low-power radio, which significantly reduces energy consumption while continuously listening for a wake-up signal. This feature is critical for applications requiring constant connectivity with minimal power usage.
Real-World Applications and Customer Innovations
Lead customers, including Lierda Internet of Things Technology, are utilizing the STM32WL33 MCU to enhance smart connected devices. By leveraging the wake-up radio, the Lierda module achieves reduced power consumption and extended wireless connectivity. Similarly, Silent Smart Technology has developed modules based on the STM32WL3 that support diverse transmission modes and efficient power management.
STMicroelectronics’ Vision and Product Features
Benoit Rodriguez, Wireless Business Line General Manager at STMicroelectronics, emphasizes the significance of their new STM32WL3 MCUs in aiding customers to create innovative products with low power consumption and rapid market deployment. Features like the wake-up radio and flow-metering LC sensor controller are instrumental in developing energy-saving designs in fields such as smart metering, agriculture, and asset tracking.
Technical Specifications and Market Availability
The STM32WL3 operates in globally designated license-free frequency bands, with support for various modulation schemes. It includes an LCD driver, ADC, analog comparator, DAC, and multiple timers, along with an integrated balun, RF power amplifier, and SMPS. Available in various configurations with Flash density ranging from 64KB to 256KB and 16KB or 32KB RAM, these devices come in 32-pin or 48-pin VFQFPN packages and are designed to operate in temperatures ranging from -40°C to 105°C. STMicroelectronics offers a 10-year longevity guarantee for these industrial products.
Specialized Features for Smart Metering Applications
The STM32WL3 is tailored for smart-metering applications, embedding an LCD controller and an LC sensor controller for fluid flow measurement. Its multi-protocol support facilitates the deployment of a single platform across different long-range wireless technologies. The MCU’s versatility and efficiency make it a prime choice for applications in Sigfox, KNX, mioty, M-Bus, and other protocols.
Pricing and Evaluation Kits
With prices starting at $2.04 for orders of 10,000 pieces, the STM32WL3 offers a cost-effective solution for a wide range of applications. STMicroelectronics also plans to release evaluation kits to aid in the development and testing of applications utilizing this innovative MCU.