Let's Make Robots!

ST's new STM32F0 Discovery Board

I do believe I have one of these coming to me and wanted to know if any LMRtians have gotten their paws on one yet. ST appears to be trying to bring the cheap 8-bit world and fancy-pants 32-bit worlds closer together with this unit. This board is certainly cheap (~$7.99 I read) or free if you register and request a sample.

It's relatively advanced (for me and my 8-bit ways) but I liked it because it has a built-in programmer that can also be used on other chips off-board. The board seems to have a lot of nice features...

  • STM32F051R8T6 microcontroller featuring 64 KB Flash, 8 KB RAM in an LQFP64 package
  • On-board ST-LINK/V2 with selection mode switch to use the kit as a standalone ST-LINK/V2 (with SWD connector for programming and debugging)
  • Board power supply: through USB bus or from an external 5 V supply voltage
  • External application power supply: 3 V and 5 V
  • Four LEDs:
    • LD1 (red) for 3.3 V power on
    • LD2 (red/green) for USB communication
    • LD3 (green) for PC9 output
    • LD4 (blue) for PC8 output
  • Two push buttons (user and reset)
  • Extension header for all LQFP64 I/Os for quick connection to prototyping board and easy probing
  • An additional board is provided which can be connected to the extension connector for even easier prototyping and probing.

ST's offical product page: http://www.st.com/internet/evalboard/product/253215.jsp

A nice description the board: http://news.thomasnet.com/fullstory/Microcontrollers-deliver-optimized-analog-integration-615090

Released only earlier this year there seems to be a lack of open-source support. That being said I'd like to linky to what I've found:

CoIDE: http://www.coocox.org/CooCox_CoIDE.htm builder and debugger platform for Windows XP SP3/Windows Vista/Windows7

Linux software at Github https://github.com/texane/stlink 

and tutorial for usage https://github.com/texane/stlink/blob/master/doc/tutorial/tutorial.pdf?raw=true

GDB: The GNU Project Debugger http://www.gnu.org/software/gdb/

Here are some project examples from ST themselves: http://www.st.com/internet/com/SOFTWARE_RESOURCES/SW_COMPONENT/FIRMWARE/stm32f0discovery_projects_examples.zip

and the user manual for the board: http://www.st.com/internet/com/TECHNICAL_RESOURCES/TECHNICAL_LITERATURE/USER_MANUAL/DM00050135.pdf 

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I've been mainly sticking to the ARM Cortex-M3 parts from ST for when I need a little more performance than an 8-bit micro can provide.  If I need more performance than an M3 I will probably use something like a Cortex-A8 with external memories.

So far I've evaluated the following M3 boards, all of which are great IMO:

    http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/STMicroelectronics/STM32L-DISCOVERY/?qs=yG9lYqi0EGF76ompnSpXbQ%3d%3d

    http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/STMicroelectronics/STM32VLDISCOVERY/?qs=Sq9754QpLBjqJpXVpJuUgA%3d%3d

    http://www.futurlec.com/STM32_Development_Board.shtml

and use this JTAG debugger (for the price it is great):

    http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/STMicroelectronics/ST-LINK-V2/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMsUcx5t7XFI3RIxq36q1BfC

I've designed a two layer board around the STM32F103C6T6A and have been pleased with the results.  CoIDE has been awesome for developing and debugging code, almost hassle-free and without limitations.  I first tried Attolic TrueStudio IDE (free edition) and it was more of a hassle with quite a few limitations including non-commercial use.  I tried these more plug and play tools as opposed to building my own tools, and CoIDE has fit the bill nicely so far.

How did you get a free sample? It's not saying they're available on their site :(

Updated the OP to reflect this heinous change.

Oh wel! It's ok. Certainly is cheap enough to pay for, but hey who doesn't like free stuff right? :P

I attended the free training seminar on each of the part series when they first came out.  It probably helps that my real job has me evaluating microcontrollers for production use...

At this point in time I'm aware of three of the Discovery boards, STM32F0, STM32F1, and STM32F4.  The F0 has a Cortex-M0 processor and is the low-end of the scale.  The F1 has a Cortex-M3 processor and is mid-range.  The F4 has a Cortex-M4 and is the high-end part (168 MHz).  One of the nice things about the whole line of STM32Fx parts is that they are upwards compatible.  The M3 and M4 can both run code targetted at the M0.  The M4 can run code targetted at the M3.  I plan on using the STM32F4 as the low-level controller for a robot; I'm laying out the IO control board now.

 

For those that wish to use all non-Windows tools, it is possible although the on-board debugger is based on a ST developed debugger.  I'm personally using the CodeSourcery Lite tools for developing code and OpenOCD for programming/debugging although I'm using an external JTAG interface (not the built-in ST-LINK debugger).  There is an open software project to provide programming support through the ST-LINK debugger.  If someone needs the info I can look through my notes to find it.

 

For details on the STM32F4Discovery board check the ST website.  This link might help: http://www.st.com/internet/evalboard/product/252419.jsp

 

Is there a couple of flavours in these. I've got one called the STM32F4 discovery. I got it a few weeks ago and it is awaiting my attention. It wasn't as cheap as yours, I paid 25.30 aus dollars but in Australia we pay a premium for being at the arse end of the world.
I know torrentula has one and rogue. Actually torrentula's blog has a couple of handy infos about them.

Yes, from what I understand they have different boards for the different levels of STM32 uCs. I think you have the high-end board. That's another thing I like about this uC line. Although they made the header spacings different for each of these discovery boards (to keep you from plugging the wrong "shield" into the wrong board. Bah, hassle LOL) it looks to be easy to scale up from the F0 to the F1 or even the F4. Kinda handy. 

Thanks for linking to torrentula's blog too, very nice.

Just the same here in New Zealand :(

Well, need to check Taobao for that tonight :-)