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STM Launches the STM32U5 Extreme Low-Power Microcontrollers Focused on Cybersecurity

Written by Stephen Vicinanza

STMicroelectronics has announced the STM32U5 series,  a new generation of extreme power-saving microcontrollers (MCUs). These MCUs are meant to meet the demanding power and performance requirements of the new designs of devices in smart applications, which include wearables, personal medical devices, home automation, and industrial sensors.

The STM32 MCUs are based on Arm Cortex-M processors and are already in the billions of domestic appliances, industrial controls, computer peripherals, communication devices, and also equipment managing smart cities and infrastructure.

The new STM32U5 series uses an Arm Cortex-M33 core with the ST proprietary power-saving features needed for the complex tasks and functions of today’s appliances. There is an on-chip IP cutting down energy demand while increasing performance. This line also adds new state-of-the-art features so vital in today’s applications. There is advanced cybersecurity with new hardware-based protection targeting PSA and SESIP (Security evaluation Standard for IoT Platforms) assurance level 3, and a graphics accelerator for rich user experience.

There is also the ST32U5 IoT Discovery Kit (B-U585I-IOT02A) that combines a Bluetooth module, a Wi-Fi module, and a number of sensors, in the MCU. This kit was chosen by Microsoft as a reference board for the new Azure Certified Device Program. “The STM32U5 provides an excellent platform for delivering Azure IoT Services via Azure RTOS while leveraging the advanced features of the STM32U5 microcontroller.” Said Sam George, CVP, Azure IoT at Microsoft. Availability of the kit began in 2021.

For extra power saving, there is an innovative autonomous mode that lets direct memory access and peripheral keep working while the device sleeps. Granular control over all operating modes allows a portion of the MCU’s memory to be turned off, to avoid powering unused cells. 

Building on the focus of cybersecurity of the STM32L5, which includes the Arm Trustzone technology and an Arm Cortex-M33 core, as well as an ST-specific security feature set, the STM32U5 series introduces new state-of-the-art innovations.

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  • Public Key Authorization (PKA) and AES encryption are now resistant to side-channel attacks by Differential Power Analysis
  • Tamper detection that is active
  • Hardware Unique Key (HUK) which provides secure data storage
  • Internal monitoring that can erase secret data in the event of a perturbation attack that helps meet the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) requirements for Point of Sale (POS) applications.

Further information on STM’s STM32U5 series, can be found on the product page at the STM website.

STMicroelectronics | st.com

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For the past 8 years, I have been writing about embedded technologies, added to my technical, academic, and medical editorial experience, with companies like Elsevier and Cambridge University Press. I tell people to read what I write, not try to pronounce my last name. I am always available for comments and suggestions you can reach me at product-editor@circuitcellar.com and I promise I will take the time to reach back out to you. I live in the North East with my wonderful family.

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STM Launches the STM32U5 Extreme Low-Power Microcontrollers Focus…

by Stephen Vicinanza time to read: 2 min