The connected things revolution is on its way and will be powered by billions of tiny connected microcontrollers. And yet, because the Microcontrollers have become so easy to use, and so fundamental to our society, they are a common element of daily life for even the most technologically illiterate among us. ELE Times’ Nikita Sharma caught up with Vinay Thapliyal, MCU Marketing Manager, India, STMicroelectronics, to discuss about the latest trends and market for Microcontrollers. Excerpts:
ELE Times: Give us deep dive in all the different types of MCU devices that your company manufactures.
Vinay: STMicroelectronics has a wide portfolio of general purpose Microcontrollers in 8-bit (STM8) and 32-bit (STM32) range. STM32 devices leverage Arm Cortex-M cores. These general purpose MCUs, which are available from ultra-low power devices to extremely high performance along with wireless and multicore series, cater to all applications in the IoT, Industrial, Appliances, and Consumer markets. ST also has dedicated MCUs for Automotive needs in 8-Bit and 32-Bit range. For India market, our STM8 and STM32 general-purpose MCUs are quite popular for various market needs.
ELE Times: Which MCU application area generates the most revenue for your company?
Vinay: Being a general purpose MCU families, we’ve got devices and series across the full range of STM8 and STM32 MCUs and all generate very good revenues for the company. In addition, these MCUs also allow us to showcase our broad portfolio of sensors, power, interface, and other important products. Also, the need for various features and performance in the applications, along with the strength of the STM8 and STM32 ecosystems that continue to make development easier and more accessible, have helped 8- and 32-bit MCU demand increase.
ELE Times: Enlist your most popular and in-demand MCU devices along with the applications that they cater to.
Vinay: MCU demand generally depends on application trends. In recent times, IoT, IIoT, Industrial, EV and appliance related applications are growing and developers are putting their efforts into these markets. In our portfolio, Ultra-Low-Power series STM32L0/L4, High performance series STM32F7/H7 and Mainstream series STM32G0, STM32G4 MCUs are excellent matches for these applications.
ELE Times: Many companies out there have MCUs which are Wi-fi enabled, which is a huge role player in the IoT domain. Do you have any plans to introduce such a product to the market?
Vinay: ST has focused on LPWAN connectivity, as this is an important wireless technology in industrial segments where most of these M2M sensor nodes or edge devices need very low data rate or bandwidth to communicate. Their primary requirement is low power consumption. For this segment, the STM32WB integrates Bluetooth Low Energy radios. Using ST’s Bluetooth Low Energy transceivers, the STM32WB supports multiple protocols like BLE & mesh, Zigbee and Thread. User can also use its 2.4GHz radio in proprietary mode.
ELE Times: What are the biggest market drivers for MCU devices?
Vinay: Some key growth drivers for MCUs are IoT, Industrial Automation, EV & Infrastructure, Metering, Smart Cities/Homes, Robotics, Personal Healthcare and Smart Agriculture. Artificial Intelligence on the edge will also be driving new growth to various upcoming applications and ST recently introduced its STM32Cube.AI extension pack, which simplifies code generation and configuration for STM32 MCUs, in conjunction with many popular deep-learning tools.