These aggressively priced microcontrollers come just at the end of a 2-year chip shortage, so if you’ve been holding back a design, it could be a great time to swap out your 8051-based or other 8-bit microcontroller for a powerful Cortex M0+ that can use ST’s supported firmware libraries and IDE.
Most developers go with 8-bit microcontrollers to get a few basic needs met: maybe a few timers, ADC, GPIO and I2C or USART for interfacing. The benefits are low complexity in design, for example no crystal needed because there’s an internal trimmed-RC oscillator, or a simple power supply with only one power pin so you don’t need multiple regulators.
8051-based microcontrollers are popular as cores for their ultra-low cost and fairly-low power usage. But the programming environment tends to be archaic, and 8-bit code compiles chunky especially when dealing with floating points or large-integer math. If you ever have to do anything more complex like interpolate values or perhaps run a digital filter on your data, an 8-bit micro will be really annoying.
Updating to the 32-bit, particularly the Arm Cortex line, will open up the whole universe of optimized and standardized libraries that CMSIS provides.
The STM32C0 series is the lower-powered version of the STM32G0 series – both are Cortex M0+ chips, but the C0 runs at 48MHz instead of the G0’s 64 MHz. The chips are otherwise pin compatible at the low pin-count-end of 8 to 48 pins, the G0 keeps going up to 100 pins.
There’s 9 different packages, that also have increasing amounts of FLASH/SRAM, with either 16 or 32K of flash and 6 or 12K of RAM.
For peripherals you’ll get plenty of GPIO, DMA, four 16-bit timers, a 12-bit ADC with 13 channels and surprisingly-high 1.7 MSPS. SPI, I2S, two USART and one I2C. Note there’s no USB on the C0 series, for that you’ll need to upgrade to the STM 32G0x1.
And if you want to start verifying the parts for your firmware immediately, there’s the STM32C0116-DK dev kit in stock. Order your STM32C0x1 Series chips or developer kit today, and you can be revising your 8-bit microcontroller design to a 32-bit glow-up by tomorrow afternoon!
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