Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Details of the STM32F103

The STM32F10x series have the following specification on STM’s web page:

STM32F1 series SS1031

The “F100”, “F101”, and “F102” variants are really pretty old by now.

The “F103” has been around since 2007, according to the datasheet, but it’s still one of the most popular microcontrollers around, up to this very day. Even Apple’s just-out-in-2015 “Magic” keyboard, trackpad, and mouse use the STM32F103 inside, for example.

Good technology stays around. And why not, if it works, is low cost, and is accepted?

Even within the F103 series alone, the range of memory sizes and features is huge:

  • from 16 KB to 1024 KB of flash memory
  • from 6 KB to 96 KB of RAM memory
  • all of them have 12-bit ADCs, some of them also have 12-bit DACs
  • all of them have: USART (up to 5), SPI (up to 3), I2C (up to 2), timers (up to 17)
  • all of them support USB and CAN (but not at the same time on the smaller models)
  • all of them have a DMA controller to keep I/O going at very high rates
  • the ones with enough pins have FSMC: allowing the use of external RAM and flash memory and even LCD screens as if built-in, i.e. with direct memory access
  • and lastly, they can all run at up to 72 MHz and have an 8 MHz internal oscillator

Not too shabby, when compared to the ATmega series.

At yet when powered down, each of these chips can be made to consume under 5 µA.

There’s plenty to like about these chips. But chips alone are just a small part of the story.

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