Say ‘Vanakkam’ to the STM32F7 Discovery!

The STM32F746 Discovery is the latest development board from STMicroelectronics labs. It is an evaluation board, intended for developers who wish to develop applications for the Cortex-M7, ARM’s most powerful Cortex-M series offering(as of writing this post).

stm32f7_discovery

The F7 Discovery board comes loaded with a host of features:

  • STM32F746NGH6 microcontroller featuring 1 Mbytes of Flash memory and 340 Kbytes of RAM, in BGA216 package
  • On-board ST-LINK/V2-1 supporting USB re-enumeration capability
  • Mbed-enabled 
  • USB functions: virtual COM port, mass storage, debug port
  • 4.3-inch 480×272 color LCD-TFT with capacitive touch screen
  • Camera connector
  • SAI audio codec
  • Audio line in and line out jack
  • Stereo speaker outputs
  • Two ST MEMS microphones
  • SPDIF RCA input connector
  • Two pushbuttons (user and reset)
  • 128-Mbit Quad-SPI Flash memory
  • 128-Mbit SDRAM (64 Mbits accessible)
  • Connector for microSD card
  • RF-EEPROM daughterboard connector
  • USB OTG HS with Micro-AB connectors
  • USB OTG FS with Micro-AB connectors
  • Ethernet connector compliant with IEEE-802.3-2002
  • Five power supply options:
    • ST LINK/V2-1
    • USB FS connector
    • USB HS connector
    • VIN from Arduino connector
    • External 5 V from connector
  • Power supply output for external applications: 3.3 V or 5 V
  • Arduino Uno V3 connectors
  • Comprehensive free software including a variety of examples, part of STM32Cube package
  • Supported by a wide choice of integrated development environments, such as ARM Keil MDK(Microcontroller Development Kit), IAR EWARM, GCC based development IDEs etc.

stm32f7_disco-fb2

For a complete list of on-board peripherals and support manuals, go to STM’s support page for the board. There you can find all reference manuals available for download, such as board schematics, reference and programmer’s manuals.

The Cortex-M7 is a 32-bit RISC based core. It operates at up to 216 MHz frequency and features a single floating point unit (SFPU) precision. SFPU supports all ARM single-precision data-processing instructions and data types. The SFPU also implement a full set of DSP instructions and a memory protection unit (MPU) to enhance application security.

The F7 board is intended as a successor for the very popular STM32F4 board, and is very adept at doing what it is designed for. All of the chips in the STM32F7 line are pin compatible with the STM32F4 line as well. The F7 board even features code compatibility with the STM32F4 board! This enables direct re-use of STM32F4 software assets and expands the possibilities offered to users by providing extra flexibility.

To meet a large diversity of needs from personal devices to industrial or consumer gateways, the STM32F7 Discovery kit combines STM32F7 higher-performance resources, code compatibility with STM32F4, touchscreen & stereo mems mics for intuitive UIs, unified expansion capabilities with Arduino connectors for a wide choice of specialized add-on boards.

Over the next few weeks, I will be using this board for learning more about embedded systems and constantly update my progress on this blog. Please do keep in mind that I am also a beginner in this amazing field, so if you find a mistake or incorrect information in any of the posts, please contact me immediately. I would be more than happy to correct it and grateful to you for the learning experience.

Keep watching for more (beginner friendly) posts as we take a plunge into this exciting new world!

Resources and References:

  1. http://www.st.com/content/st_com/en/products/evaluation-tools/product-evaluation-tools/mcu-eval-tools/stm32-mcu-eval-tools/stm32-mcu-discovery-kits/32f746gdiscovery.html
  2. https://community.arm.com/docs/DOC-10375
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