Semiconductor Solutions from STMicroelectronics Selected by Nintendo for Nintendo Switch

ST motion sensors, touch-screen controller IC, STM32 microcontrollers, and NFC controller IC contribute to gaming innovation

New Delhi, March 27, 2017 – STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, today announced that its advanced semiconductor solutions, including motion sensors, touch-screen controller IC, STM32 microcontrollers, and NFC controller IC, have been selected for Nintendo Switch™ system, Nintendo’s latest innovative gaming device.


Nintendo Switch is a home gaming console that can be played anywhere, and consists of a console, two Joy-Con™ detachable controllers, Joy-Con charging grip and a dock. Several ST products contribute to this unique gaming device by enabling the intuitive user interface as well as through the NFC-connectivity function that enhances gameplay.

· ST’s 6-axis inertial sensors are embedded in the main console and in the controllers of Nintendo Switch, responding to players’ motions to control the games. The inertial sensor comprises a 6-axis IMU (inertial measurement unit) in an ultra-small footprint (2.5mm x 3mm x 0.6mm). The sensor enables increased accuracy and resolution with low noise performance, and also operates on very little power to keep players playing.

· The capacitive touch-screen controller IC from ST is mounted in the main console and features highly sensitive touch detection and low power consumption. Combining an analog front-end and a digital signal processor based on a microcontroller core, the controller IC enables multi-touch and a fast report rate. The touch-screen controller IC supports many types of capacitive touch-panel materials and structures, and can be configured based on the particular touch sensitivity required by consumers.

· Nintendo Switch uses three STM32 32-bit microcontrollers from ST for an ideal balance of processing capability, low power consumption, embedded memory, and package size. A high-performance STM32 MCU in a small package is embedded in Joy-Con (R) controller to manage the IR motion camera and the NFC function. In addition, a low-power STM32 MCU is embedded in the Joy-Con charging grip that attaches the controllers to meet battery-life constraints while performing signal-processing functions. Another STM32 MCU is embedded in the dock of the main console for power management functions.

· The ST NFC controller IC in the Joy-Con (R) controller and the Nintendo Switch Pro controller enable contactless communication using Near Field Communication technology with Nintendo’s amiibo™ accessories. The communication allows adding and customizing characters in supported games, as well as a way to deliver bonus content in such games. ST’s low power-consumption NFC controller ICs embed NFC Forum-compliant firmware and software protocol stacks, and provide high contactless performance for the best user experience.

“Since Nintendo’s launch of WiiTM in 2006, ST has strengthened its close relationship with Nintendo by delivering advanced semiconductors while expanding our product portfolio to best fit new gaming applications,” said Marco Cassis, Executive Vice President and President of Asia Pacific Region, STMicroelectronics. “We are delighted to have contributed to Nintendo Switch, which is an innovative gaming device that offers a unique user experience through an exciting new approach, with our broad expertise in sensing, processing and connectivity.”

Nintendo Switch, Joy-Con, amiibo and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo.

New STM32L4 MCUs from STMicroelectronics Lead Ultra-Low-Power Class in Performance and Efficiency with Top Peripheral Integration

The latest STM32L496 and STM32L4A6 microcontrollers (MCU) from STMicroelectronics extend the unique fusion of ARM® Cortex®-M4F core performance and proprietary ultra-low-power technologies, adding larger memories, enhanced graphics support, extra peripherals, and increased power-saving flexibility.

Bigger on-chip RAM, now up to 320 Kbytes, complements the newly added ST Chrom-ART Accelerator™ graphics engine for smoother display performance in energy-conscious applications such as IoT devices and smart watches. There is also up to 1 Mbyte Flash, an extra CAN interface, a camera interface and crystal-less Full Speed (FS) USB OTG. A new high-pin-count UFBGA169 package option gives extra flexibility to exercise these new peripherals, which join the rich digital and smart analog features shared with the STM32L476/486. The STM32L4A6 with hardware cryptographic acceleration implements SHA-256 and AES-128/192/256 algorithms.

Offering features unavailable in other ultra-low-power MCUs, the new STM32L4™ devices deliver both high core performance and outstanding ultra-low-power efficiency. The EEMBC®[1] CoreMark® score of 273 outperforms other ultra-low-power cores, while the ULPBench™ score of 217 confirms greater energy efficiency. Active-mode current of just 37µA/MHz enables longer runtime on small batteries and extends scope to create energy-neutral products powered from ambient sources.

ST has also extended the flexibility of the STM32L4 power architecture, giving developers the option to power the core from an external DC/DC converter for extra efficiency. The STM32L4 Flex Power Control architecture includes a new shutdown mode for additional energy savings, alongside multiple independent core and peripheral supplies, and a separate VBAT domain with charging circuitry that gives flexibility to utilize or recharge battery energy. The rich selection of seven main STM32L4 low-power modes is also supported, with options such as retaining I/O levels and SRAM contents, each with several sub-modes that allow precision trimming of power consumption as application demand varies.

The new STM32L4 MCU lines arrive with extensive ecosystem support, including STM32Cube tools and software, two Nucleo-144 boards, and the STM32L496 Discovery Kit (STM32L496G-DISCO) with on-board audio/graphics features and Arduino, Pmod and STMod+™ connectivity support. The NUCLEO-L496ZG-P features an on-board DC/DC converter for powering the core directly, which allows developers to easily leverage the flexible power architecture in the most energy-conscious applications. The legacy-compatible NUCLEO-L496ZG is also available, and offers the same features as existing Nucleo-144 boards.

Budgetary pricing is from $4.63 for the STM32L496RET6 with 512 Kbytes Flash and 320 Kbytes SRAM in LQFP64 package, for orders of 10,000 pieces per year.

Prices for development boards start at $19 for the legacy-compatible Nucleo-144 board (NUCLEO-L496ZG), which is available now. The Discovery Kit (STM32L496G-DISCO) is also available now, priced 70$. The NUCLEO-L496ZG-P board with external DC/DC converter will be available to distributors in April 2017.

For further information please visit www.st.com/stm32l4x6

STMicroelectronics, DSP Group, and Sensory Create Keyword-Smart Microphone for Voice-Controlled Devices

Ultra-low power voice processing and MEMS microphone circuitry enables sound detection and keyword recognition in a miniaturized single package
Combines ST’s MEMS microphone and packaging know-how with DSP Group’s voice-processing expertise and Sensory’s voice-recognition firmware

New Delhi, March 23, 2017 – STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and a top MEMS supplier, DSP Group Inc. (NASDAQ: DSPG), a leading global provider of wireless chipset solutions for converged communications, and Sensory Inc., the leader in voice interface and keyword-detect algorithms, have revealed details for a highly power-efficient, voice-detecting and -processing microphone that delivers keyword-recognition capabilities in a compact package.

The small System-in-Package (SiP) device integrates a low-power ST MEMS microphone enabled by DSP Group’s ultra-low power voice-processing chip and Sensory’s voice-recognition firmware. The solution leverages ST’s advanced packaging technology to achieve a powerful yet lightweight package, extremely long battery runtimes, and advanced functionality.

Although typical wake-on-sound microphones eliminate the need for users to touch the device to wake it from sleep mode, they suffer from limited processing power and wake the main system processor to recognize the received instruction. Using the powerful computation capabilities from DSP Group, ST’s microphone detects and recognizes instructions without waking the main system, enabling energy-efficient, intuitive, and seamless interactions for users speaking to voice-operated appliances like smart speakers, TV remotes, and smart home systems.

The new microphone solution taps DSP Group’s HDClear ultra-low power audio processing chip to significantly reduce energy consumption, extending the lifetime of battery-operated equipment for several years without the need to recharge or replace battery. Responses to voice commands are also faster, because the system acts on the instruction immediately without first having to recognize it.

“Unlike previous existing solutions, this microphone doesn’t just listen to voices – it immediately understands the commands, too, without using the power and computation resources of the main processor,” commented Andrea Onetti, MEMS and Sensors Division General Manager, STMicroelectronics. “This smart integration step is a key enabler for the voice interfaces that are being added to IoT objects and applications, including those contributing to Industry 4.0.”

“As voice becomes the default user interface, more and more innovative products embrace smart voice-processing technology. Our solution combines a small footprint, high integration, and the low-power consumption needed to enable seamless and effective voice user interfaces in battery-operated devices,“ said Ofer Elyakim, CEO of DSP Group. “Collaboration with industry leaders ST and Sensory on this smart microphone brings to market a powerful yet energy-efficient solution with best-in-class performance, which makes it a perfect match for any smart system that needs to incorporate high-quality voice capabilities.”

Todd Mozer, CEO of Sensory, added, “Voice activation has the potential to transform the way people interact with all kinds of electronic equipment in the home, while on the go, or at work. ST’s new highly integrated solution, leveraging our latest-generation firmware, is an important enabler for OEMs seeking to deliver a natural and fluid user experience.”

First prototypes of ST’s new command-recognition microphone will be available by the end of Q1 2017 with volume production in early 2018.

STMicroelectronics and USound Agree to Make World’s First Spectacular-Sounding MEMS Speakers

Miniaturized thin-film piezo-electric-MEMS actuators offer better sound, efficiency

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, and USound GmbH, an innovative and fast-growing audio company, today announced their collaboration on the industrialization and production of the world’s first miniature piezoelectric MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) actuators for smart audio systems in portable devices.

The patented micro-speaker technology from USound aims to replace commonly used balanced-armature and electrodynamic receivers for handsets with a small piezo-MEMS actuator. Manufactured using ST’s industry-leading thin-film piezo-electric (TFP) technology, these actuators will improve scalability and cost while assuring lower power consumption and heat dissipation in hearables and smartphones devices, without compromising audio quality.

“USound’s technology and the transition to piezo-MEMS actuators will bring semiconductor reliability, manufacturing efficiencies and – most importantly to the consumer – sound improvements to portable devices,” said Anton Hofmeister, Vice President and GM of MEMS Microactuators Division, STMicroelectronics. “The announcement is a further step by ST, the worldwide leader in consumer and mobile sensors, to expand our MEMS portfolio by leveraging our valuable actuation technology to address large market opportunities with high barriers to entry.”

“With its outstanding semiconductor and MEMS expertise, ST is the ideal partner to bring this never-seen-before technology to the market,” said Ferruccio Bottoni, CEO of USound. “Compared to standard speakers, our piezo-MEMS devices offer unprecedented mechanical precision, improving audio reproduction fidelity and device reliability in very thin form factors. As the first-of-its-kind device, our MEMS “Moon” speaker targets earphone applications, bringing superior performance to the audio world at a competitive price.”

The USound/ST technology will be on show in the ST stand at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (Feb 27-Mar 2). The companies anticipate the piezo-electric MEMS actuator will move into production in Q3 of this year and will be shipping in consumer products by the end of the year.

STMicroelectronics Delivers Superior-Performing NFC Technology for Secure Contactless Payments and IoT Applications

STMicroelectronics has announced availability of its latest-generation NFC devices for contactless payments and data exchange. The new devices include the ST21NFCD NFC controller featuring the market-proven booster technology ST has recently acquired, and two new members in the ST54 System-in-Package (SiP) family that integrate the Company’s latest Secure Element technology.

The ST21NFCD chip features active load modulation for faster, smoother transactions over longer distances, delivering better user experiences in mobiles, wearables, or IoT devices. It supports card emulation, reader/writer and peer-to-peer communication modes, and contains eFlash to permit full firmware update. It supports the NFC Forum’s NCI 2.0 specification, which simplifies software development for interacting with NFC tags and supports batching and autonomous exchanges to minimize communication overheads. The IC also meets NFC Forum type 1-5 tag specifications, ISO/IEC 18092 NFC Interface and Protocol (NFCIP), and payment standards including EMVCo latest revisions. It is pre-certified in accordance with the Global Certification Forum (GCF) and PTCRB[1] for integration in mobile devices, and can enable handsets to read MIFARE ClassicTM encrypted tags.

Built-in power management and battery-voltage monitoring minimize any impact on runtime in a host-system such as a smartphone. The extremely high RF sensitivity, which allows the use of miniaturized antennas; the option to use an external clock source instead of a crystal; and the high output power of the chip that makes the DC/DC booster optional, each help save bill of materials and board footprint.

ST’s latest ST54 Systems-in-Packages – ST54F and ST54H – contain the ST21NFCD NFC controller and an embedded Secure Element (eSE). The eSE is an ST33 secure microcontroller certified to the highest security standards including Common Criteria EAL5+ and EMVCo for financial applications, which ensures strong protection against duplication and hacking in a compact and easy-to-use integrated device. It leverages the proven ARM® SecurCore® SC300™ core and supports secure operating systems (OS) running Java Card™ and GlobalPlatform™.

The ST54F integrates the ST21NFCD with the widely deployed ST33G1M2 Secure Element with up to 1.28MB of eFlash. The ST54H embeds a more advanced ST33J2M0 Secure Element with up to 2MB eFlash and twice the performance of the ST33G1M2 to connect with new digital secure applications from service providers.

The ST21NFCD and the new ST54 SiPs are in volume production, each packaged as a 4mm x 4mm x 0.8mm 64-pin WFBGA. Please contact your ST sales office for pricing options and sample requests.

ST’s latest NFC devices will be on show at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (Feb 27-Mar 2, Booth 7A61).

For further information please visit http://www.st.com/en/secure-mcus/secure-nfc.html

New STM32 Boards from STMicroelectronics Support Cost-Effective and Ultra-Low-Power LPWAN Evaluation for Long-Range IoT Connectivity

Two new ready-to-use prototype boards available from STMicroelectronics slash the cost for developers to start evaluating LoRaWAN™ and other Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies including 6LoWPAN. The boards are based on the smallest and lowest-power LoRaWAN modules that exist on the market today, with a footprint not larger than 13x12mm and power consumption in the range of 1.2µA in standby mode.

The B-L072Z-LRWAN1 STM32 LoRa® Discovery kit ($46.50) builds on the all-in-one open module from Murata® that integrates a STM32L072CZ microcontroller (MCU) and Semtech SX1276 transceivers. The module features a LoRa modem that provides ultra-long-range spread-spectrum communication and high interference immunity whilst minimizing current consumption.

Since the module is open, developers have access to the STM32L072 MCU and its peripherals such as ADC, 16-bit timer, LP-UART, I2C, SPI and USB 2.0 FS (supporting BCD and LPM). They can design their applications using STM32L0 HAL and LL embedded software libraries, and can further extend the board’s functionality choosing from expansion boards within the STM32 Nucleo ecosystem or the large range of Arduino™ expansion boards.

The B-L072Z-LRWAN1 kit includes an on-board debugger, a 64-pin STM32 Nucleo morpho connector, an Arduino-compatible connector, and a battery socket. It also comes with access to a completely free development ecosystem that includes the MDK-ARM Integrated Development Environment (IDE), STM32CubeMX configurator and software tools, and ST’s LoRaWAN protocol stack (I-CUBE-LRWAN).

The I-NUCLEO-LRWAN1 ($25.00) is an expansion board for STM32 Nucleo or Arduino boards that can be simply plugged in to quickly start work developing a full LoRa-based and/or FSK/OOK (Frequency-Shift Keying/On-Off Keying) connectivity applications. The board features a LoRaWAN module from USI® together with an STM32L052T8 MCU and Semtech SX1272 transceivers.

The USI module comes pre-loaded with an AT command stack that helps streamline development and saves programming. The I-CUBE-LRWAN stack is available free of charge. As an extra bonus, to aid development of Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications, the I-NUCLEO-LRWAN1 board is also equipped with ST’s LIS2DS12 3-axis accelerometer, LPS22HB MEMS pressure sensor, and HTS221 humidity-and-temperature sensor.

Both boards are LoRaWAN-certified and fully compliant with wireless regulations in the US, EU, Russia, India, and other countries using the 860-930MHz frequency bands. In addition to the industry-standard protocols, they also support proprietary LPWAN protocols for long-range connection of IoT devices like smart meters, alarm systems, tracking devices, positioning devices, environmental sensors, and activity sensors.

The B-L072Z-LRWAN1 Discovery kit and I-NUCLEO-LRWAN1 are ready for distributors to order now, and will be available via st.com by the end of this month.

For further information please visit www.st.com/stm32-lrwan.

Versatile Accelerometer from STMicroelectronics Delivers Class-Leading Resolution and Low Power in Tiny Footprint

Taking context sensing in Internet-of-Things (IoT) and wearable devices to the next level, STMicroelectronics’ LIS2DW12 3-axis accelerometer delivers superior accuracy, flexibility, and energy savings by supporting multiple low-power and low-noise settings in a 2mm x 2mm x 0.7mm package.

A new member of ST’s low-power, high-performance MEMS product family (alongside devices like LSM6DSM, LSM6DSL, and LSM303AH), the LIS2DW12 has 16-bit output and can be set to prioritize low power consumption or low-noise performance, with five settings in either mode. A specific feature coupled with four settings in each mode save waking the system to check for data, and allow efficient single-byte transfers thereby further minimizing system power consumption and helping extend battery life. Noise density down to 90µg/√Hz is at least 25% lower than similar devices in the marketplace, which improves the measurement accuracy in next-gen applications from healthcare, fitness, and gaming to industrial sensing and environmental monitoring.

Drawing as little as 50nA in standby, or 380nA in low-power mode at 1.6Hz Output Data Rate, the LIS2DW12 adds negligible load on the battery. The supply-voltage range of 1.62-3.6V allows extended operation from small coin or button cells. Features that support system-level power savings include a 32-level FIFO, a built-in temperature sensor, and a programmable interrupt for freefall, wake up, activity/inactivity, 6D/4D orientation detection, and tap/double-tap detection.

The LIS2DW12 offers high resolution and flexibility to optimize noise performance and power consumption in a small 2mm x 2mm x 0.7mm package.

Engineering samples of the LIS2DW12 are available now, and volume production will begin in Q1 2017. Budgetary pricing is from $0.75 for orders of 1000 pieces.

For further information please visit www.st.com/lis2dw12-pr

STMicroelectronics’ MCU Finder for PC Connects Conveniently to STM32 and STM8 Design Resources Directly on Developer’s Desktop

STMicroelectronics has released its MCU Finder for PC, enabling embedded developers to access essential STM32 32-bit ARM® Cortex®-M and STM8 8-bit MCU (microcontroller) information conveniently from the same desktop environment used for application development.

Leveraging features of ST’s popular MCU Finder mobile app (ST-MCU-FINDER), the PC version (ST-MCU-FINDER-PC) provides easy-to-use selection tools, self-maintaining documentation, and connections to MCU communities. It is available for Windows®, macOS™, and Linux® platforms, enabling embedded developers to consolidate all their MCU resources including data and tools on the desktop for convenience and efficiency.

Users can search the entire range of over 700 STM32 and over 125 STM8 MCU part numbers, based on up to 54 criteria for the STM32 and 20 criteria for the STM8 family. These criteria cover the full range of device features, including core type, CPU frequency, memory, price, package, I/Os, temperature grade and peripherals such as control, timers, analog, connectivity, multimedia and security. Development can begin immediately after device selection by downloading the STM32CubeMX initialization-code generator directly from the MCU Finder for PC.

The desktop application helps developers quickly find the data and technical resources they need to support their microcontroller projects. All the documentation for any selected device can be seen in one place, with one click, and downloaded for offline viewing. Documents are automatically updated with the latest versions, so developers can be sure the most accurate information is always loaded on their PC without making repeated online searches. Users can also quickly check prices and buy devices online.

Like ST’s popular MCU Finder mobile app for Android and iOS, the desktop version also connects users with developer communities on popular social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, STM32’s YouTube channel and the new ST Community of more than 40,000 members.

ST’s MCU Finder for PC is available now, and can be downloaded free of charge from www.st.com/stmcufinder

3MHz Chopper Op Amps from STMicroelectronics Feature Rail-to-Rail Input and Output in Tiny Footprint

The TSZ182 dual precision op amp from STMicroelectronics combines low and extremely temperature-stable input-offset voltage with the added advantages of a 3MHz gain-bandwidth, rail-to-rail inputs and outputs, and ultra-small 2mm x 2mm DFN8 or Mini-SO8 package options.

Complementing ST’s popular conventional op amps, the chopper-stabilized TSZ182 enables superior precision in instruments like body-signal monitors, blood-glucose meters, industrial sensors, factory automation, and low-side current sensing.

The offset voltage of 25µV at 25°C enables high measurement resolution and accuracy without external trimming components, saving board space and the need for adjustments during production. Moreover, offset drift less than 100nV/°C maintains accuracy over a wide temperature range and saves periodic auto-recalibration thereby simplifying design and enhancing convenience for end users.

Operating from a 2.2V-5.5V supply and providing rail-to-rail inputs and outputs – a competitive advantage over some other precision op amps – the TSZ182 maximizes utilization of available dynamic range. The gain-bandwidth of 3MHz ensures consistent frequency response over a wide range, and the maximum operating current of just 1mA at 5V helps maximize runtime of battery-powered devices.

The extended operating-temperature range of -40°C to 125°C enables use in harsh outdoor or industrial environments. Automotive-qualified variants (TSZ1821IYST) will also be available next month for precision sensor-signal conditioning in equipment ranging from simple wiper modules or climate controls to autonomous-driving systems.

The TSZ182 is in production now in the Mini-SO8 or DFN8 2mm x 2mm package, priced from $0.97 for orders of 1000 units.

For further information please visit www.st.com/tsz182-pr

STMicroelectronics Boosts Feature Integration, Efficiency, and Flexibility of Next-Generation Intelligent Power Modules up to 100W

STMicroelectronics has extended its SLLIMM™ nano series of Intelligent Power Modules (IPMs) for motor drives with more package options that help minimize overall size and complexity, extra integrated features, and greater efficiency leveraging the latest-generation 500V MOSFETs.

With a current rating of 1A or 2A, the new IPMs target applications up to 100 Watts, such as refrigerator compressors, washing-machine or dishwasher motors, draining and recirculation pumps, fans, and other drives running at less than 20kHz in hard-switching circuitries. Operation up to 150°C allows use in harsh environments.

The modules integrate a three-phase MOSFET bridge and gate-driver HVICs, with value-added features including an unassigned op-amp and comparator for functions such as over-current protection and current sensing. Additional built-in safety features include interlocking to prevent shoot-through currents from damaging MOSFETs of the bridge, a fault-status output, shutdown input, and smart-shutdown capability. An optional built-in thermistor helps simplify over-temperature protection.

In addition to the zig-zag lead option, the new series is also available in a line-lead package. These give designers extra flexibility to simplify the board layout and minimize controller size in mechatronic assemblies and other space-constrained applications.

The high thermal performance of the packages, combined with the superior efficiency of ST’s latest 500V MOSFETs, enhances designers’ freedom to minimize heatsink size or create heatsink-free solutions for lower-power applications. The low MOSFET on-resistance of 3.6Ω and 1.7Ω, in 2A and 1A variants, respectively, combines with low switching losses to ensure high overall energy efficiency. The MOSFETs have separate open-emitter connections to module pins, which simplifies use of three-shunt current sensing for field-oriented motor control (FOC) or single-shunt sensing for trapezoidal control. The modules also integrate the bootstrap diodes needed to control the high-side MOSFET gates, further minimizing demand for external components.

The STIPN1M50T-H, STIPN1M50-H, STIPN2M50T-H (L), and STIPN2M50-H are in production now, priced from $4.50 in the Dual Inline Package for orders of 1000 pieces.

For further information please visit www.st.com/ipm