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STMicroelectronics Announced Availability of a Low-Cost Development Tool for the ST7Lite 8-bit Microcontroller Family


In-circuit debugging and programming tools from Raisonance provide a complete development environment for ST's entry level 8-bit microcontroller series

STMicroelectronics announced availability of a low-cost development tool for the ST7Lite 8-bit microcontroller family, which is widely used in cost-sensitive applications such as lighting systems, home appliances, alarms, and air conditioning. The new ST7FLITE-SK/RAIS development kit is part of the REva series from the microcontroller-support company Raisonance, and is available with a suggested resale price of just $149.00. The release marks the beginning of a whole new generation of compatible tools for most of ST's microcontroller products, including ST7-, uPSD-, and ARM-based MCUs.

STMicroelectronics ST7Lite 8-bit Microcontroller Family

The kit offers a complete, flexible, and affordable software and hardware development solution for ST7Lite applications. It provides real-time in-circuit debugging and programming capabilities, with all the features needed to allow developers to create, build, and debug ST’s MCU-based systems. The development kit includes the REva evaluation board, the RLink USB-based in-circuit debugger/programmer, and the free RIDE-ST7 software. The RLink takes full advantage of the ST7Lite on-chip debug module, which is dedicated hardware on the micro offering powerful real-time debugging features such as hardware breakpoints on instructions, addresses, or data.

ST’s ST7Lite series is a range of entry-level 8-bit microcontrollers intended for cost-sensitive applications. ST7Lite MCUs provide outstanding flexibility at every stage of the product cycle, from the first prototype to production, ensuring reduced cost of ownership and fast time-to-market. All products in the series use the same single-voltage Flash technology and are programmed using the same techniques and tools. On-chip functions – including an accurate oscillator, a fast ADC with op-amp, and a reset circuit with low-voltage detection – simplify system design and reduce manufacturing costs.

The REva development kit is a low-cost and powerful development tool for all ST7Lite MCUs, all of which share common emulator and software development platforms. The REva board itself is an innovative, modular evaluation platform that consists of a generic motherboard with interchangeable daughterboards supporting several target ST7 microcontrollers. The daughterboards plug easily into an SO-DIMM connector on the motherboard, allowing the user to evaluate and develop applications for a range of microcontrollers from a single platform. The kit includes three daughterboards, for ST7FLITE0, ST7FLITE3, and ST72F264 microcontrollers.

The RLink in-circuit debugger/programmer supports the full range of ST7 Flash microcontrollers. It is connected to the REva for debugging and programming the MCU on the evaluation board. RLink’s USB connection is used to power the REva, eliminating the need for a power supply. The RLink also connects to the target ST7 in the application through a standard 10-pin ICC (In Circuit Communication) interface, using the ST7 ICC protocol.

The RLink and the REva evaluation board are driven by the free RIDE-ST7 software (Raisonance Integrated Development Environment), an easy-to-use package based on the proven development environment for the ST6 and uPSD microcontroller families. RIDE-ST7 features a number of additional innovations to make the development of an ST7 application from scratch faster and easier: in addition to providing seamless integration and graphical controls for the Cosmic and Metrowerks C compilers for ST7 (code-size versions limited to 4 kilobytes available free), this latest release also includes the RBuilder project-creation ‘wizard’ for easy peripheral configuration and the display of critical peripheral and ST7 register information. RIDE integrates other tools for ST7 from Raisonance such as a simulator, a macro assembler, a linker and an optional code compressor.

The RBuilder is an easy-to-use graphical interface for starting an ST7 application without the need to write original program code. Informative and intuitive controls enable ST7 peripherals to be selected and configured using check boxes. The RBuilder then generates a prototype application based on ST7-Library functions that is ready to compile and run, or can be edited and enhanced with additional application code before compiling and debugging on the target ST7.

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