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RFID News Roundup

Vizinex RFID intros tags for tracking large metal assets; STMicroelectronics offers smart device microcontrollers, smart gateway platform; NGK Insulators releases lithium-ion battery for IoT devices; NORVI expands its Industrial IoT offerings.
By Rich Handley

STMicroelectronics Offers Smart Device Microcontrollers, Smart Gateway Platform

STMicroelectronics has announced that its STM32L4P5 and STM32L4Q5 microcontrollers (MCUs) feature an Arm Cortex-M4 core and are suitable for smart connected devices, including utility meters, industrial and medical sensors, fitness trackers and smart-home products. Memory density is at 512KB Flash and 320KB SRAM, the company reports. Compact 10-millimeter by 10-millimeter 64-pin and 7-millimeter by 7-millimeter 48-pin package options let designers tackle applications limited by size constraints, the company reports, such as wearable form factors.

The system features independent power connections for circuitry, such as USB and analog peripherals, independent clock domains, and Octal and Quad SPI interfaces for external memory expansion. The devices come with a 5Msample/s smart analog-to-digital converter (ADC) that can operate at full speed to minimize acquisition time, or at reduced speed with lower current.

Leveraging ST's ultra-low-power microcontroller technologies, the STM32L4+ MCUs feature seven main low-power modes that let designers manage power consumption and wake-up times to minimize energy demand. The devices support FlexPowerControl, which ensures the energy-efficient handling of processing loads, as well as Batch Acquisition Mode for energy-efficient data capture while the CPU is stopped.

Other features preserve system reliability and safety in industrial and medical applications, including Flash error-correcting code support and hardware parity checking for SRAM. Cyber-protection features include a True Random Number Generator and IP protection through limited access to code stored in internal memory. STM32L4Q5 devices feature additional cryptographic accelerators that support AES, RSA, DH and ECC acceleration.

ST has extended the STM32 development ecosystem by introducing the NUCLEO-L4P5ZG Nucleo-144 board and STM32L4P5G-DK Discovery kit, each containing an STM32L4P5 microcontroller. Leveraging the STM32Cube ecosystem, the STM32L4P5 and STM32L4Q5 are supported by the STM32CubeL4 MCU package, which contains a hardware abstraction layer and low-layer (HAL/LL) peripheral drivers, middleware components and example projects, and by the STM32CubeMX initialization-code generator and configurator, which has a power-consumption calculator for low-power design.

In addition, the company's Smart Gateway Platform (SGP) provides a development tool for prototyping automotive smart-gateway and domain-controller applications. The evolution of automotive architectures to include high throughput in-vehicle networking and high data-rate connectivity to the cloud has increased demand for high-performance smart-gateway and domain-controller electronic control units, the company reports.

ST's modular SGP, built on gigabit Ethernet communication between the secure and ASIL-B Telemaco3P microprocessor and the ASIL-D SPC58/Chorus microcontroller, offers the processing capability to handle firewall functionalities, predictive maintenance, over-the-air upgrades, and high data-rate communication among different ECUs and to the cloud. While the Chorus MCU provides real-time, low-power and secure in-vehicle connectivity through its multiple CAN-FD interfaces, the Telemaco3P MPU extends gateway computational capabilities by delivering dual Arm Cortex A7 processing power with the Posix OS support and an embedded security module to handle OTA updates, firewall and predictive-maintenance functions.

The SGP reference design features in-vehicle network interfaces, including Ethernet and CAN ports, as well as support for LIN and FlexRay connections. It comes with a starter package that includes hardware design files, hardware and software documentation, software utilities (drivers and flashers), and sample applications. The SGP integrates expansion connections to Wi-Fi and LTE modules for full prototyping of use cases requiring cloud-connectivity simulation.

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