In this News Brief, we take a look at the B-L475E-IOT01A Discovery kit announced by STMicroelectronics. The kit combines cloud connectivity with low-power capabilities to allow fast and easy IoT device development.

The STM32 MCU

The STM32 family of microcontrollers currently has ten different series, based off of five 32-bit ARM Cortex processor cores. 

The B-L475E-IOT01A Discovery kit was built around an MCU from the L4 family, the 80 Hz STM32L475. Like all of its STM32 L4 brethren, it has an ARM 32-bit Cortex-M4 core. The Cortex-M4 was introduced as an alternative to its predecessor, the Cortex-M3, but with added DSP and floating point instructions.

 

Image from STWorld on SlideShare

 

STMicro calls the STM32L475 the "heart" of the new kit, emphasizing the focus on low-power and IoT development.

 

The B-L475E-IOT01A Discovery Kit

The B-L475E-IOT01A kit is STMicro's most recent offering for IoT development. It's designed to allow flexibility without requiring much in the way of setup, power, or cost.

The kit has plenty of features to play with. There are new modules for BLE (the SPBTLE-RF), Wi-Fi, and sub-GHz RF (either the 868 or 915 MHz version of the SPSGRF). There's also an NFC-tag IC, complete with printed NFC antenna.

It also has a host of sensors that allow for extensive environment monitoring and user functionality. STMicro has quite the roster of MEMS sensors to draw from and they've chosen to include quite a few of them. There are a total of six sensors on the board, including a gyroscope, a humidity/temperature sensor, and a magnetometer.

 

Image from STMicroelectronics.

 

The kit works with a variety of IDEs (such as IAR and Keil) and is ARM mbed-enabled. It also comes with the in-circuit ST-Link debugger/programmer.

Its recommended pricing is $53. 

 

Specs:

  • STM32L4 series MCU with ARM Cortex core
  • Memory
    • 1 megabyte of Flash memory and 128 kilobytes of SRAM (via the STM32L4 MCU)
    • 64-Mbit Quad-SPI (Macronix) Flash memory
  • Sensors
    • HTS221 Capacitive digital sensor for relative humidity and temperature
    • LIS3MDL High-performance MEMS 3-axis magnetometer and 3D accelerometer
    • LSM6DSL 3D MEMS gyroscope
    • LPS22HB MEMS nano pressure sensor: 260-1260 hPa absolute digital output barometer
    • VL53L0X Time-of-flight and gesture-detection sensor
    • (2) MP34DT01 digital omnidirectional MEMS microphones
  • Dynamic NFC tag based on M24SR (with printed antenna)

Read more in the B-L475E-IOT01A data brief.

 

The push for more accessible IoT development options is growing. Designers are likely to see more and more easy-to-implement, well-connected, and low-power IoT-focused components and kits this year.

 

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