After releasing the world's first LoRa-enabled wireless SoC in 2019, the STM32WL, ST recently introduced a new dual-core model with multi-modulation radio and advanced security, opening the door to new application possibilities for smart utilities, asset tracking, smart cities and industries. Let’s look into the key benefits of the STM32WL family, and discover what this means for new design projects.
Multiple modulations for a worldwide reach
Unique in the market, the STM32WL series combines ST’s STM32 ultra-low-power MCU architecture with a sub-GHz radio subsystem, that supports multiple modulation schemes. These include LoRa, (G)FSK, (G)MSK and BPSK modulation used by LoRaWAN, Sigfox, or wireless Meter-Bus (wM-Bus) protocols for instance, as well as other proprietary protocols or sub-GHz standards. The radio has a selectable dual-power output and a linear frequency range from 150 to 960 MHz, that help customers comply with RF-power restrictions for unlicensed frequency bands in all territories worldwide.
The STM32WL System-on-Chip features only one silicon die in one package and combines a microcontroller with an embedded radio. Customers are free to implement any application firmware and radio stacks, and only require one crystal to synchronize both the MCU and the radio, thereby reducing the bill of materials and enabling significant cost savings.
Extended feature options so you can find the right fit
The most recent additions to the STM32WL family of wireless SoC include the dual-core STM32WL55 that brings advanced security features (see below) and is based on an Arm® Cortex®-M4 core and a Cortex-M0+ MCU core, which can both be used in a fully open and flexible way. More information on the new products released is available on st.com.
With MCU Flash options from 64 to 256 Kbyte, the STM32WL family of SoCs lets developers choose the optimal code and data storage density for the entire platform, including application and radio. It also offers multiple package options to allow designers to select the right footprint and to enable flexible GPIO configuration.
The wireless STM32WL SoC is fully integrated into the STM32 ecosystem: ST provides hardware development tools such as the NUCLEO-WL55JC1 and NUCLEO-WL55JC2, as well as the STM32Cube embedded software environment to ease testing and prototyping. All devices are supported by ST’s rolling 10-year longevity commitment for industrial products.
Enhanced security with dual-core STM32WL55 SoC
One of the key benefits of implementing the new dual-core STM32WL5x SoC is the additional security it brings to your design.
Secure hardware isolation can now be enabled between the two cores. This can be leveraged to isolate the applicative layers from the protocol stack which is secured as M0+- managed embedded software. Moreover, protocol keys (or any other software component) can be stored in an SKMS-managed (Secure Key Management Services) Flash memory area of programmable size. Many other advanced security features are also available, such as Secure Firmware Install, Secure Boot, Crypto hardware IP, to only name a few.