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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

ST fills out its low level software for ST32 controllers

By Nick Flaherty

STMicroelectronics has completed its free Low-Layer Application Programming Interface (LL API) software for STM32 microcontrollers (MCUs) to suport register level code.

 The LL APIs enable expert embedded designers to work within the STMCube development environment, and optimise code down to the register level using ST-validated software for faster time to market.

The combination of LL APIs and Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) software in all STM32Cube packages now gives developers complete flexibility when choosing how to control device peripherals. They can use the HAL to reuse portable code or use LL APIs to optimise for performance, smallest code footprint and lowest power consumption. Code examples tailored to run on the associated STM32 Nucleo board provide templates that simplify porting to other STM32 MCUs. Having the whole range covered allows designers to  target exactly the device they need.

This comes from the peripheral initialisation services that are functionally equivalent to STM32 Standard Peripheral Libraries (SPLs) so that the LL APIs can provide a migration path from the older SPLs to the STM32Cube ecosystem. Using the LL APIs can deliver higher performance, comparable to that of STM32Snippets direct-register-access code examples.

The LL APIs are MISRA-C 2004 compliant except where indicated, and have been checked using Grammatech CodeSonar static analysis tool for code quality and reliability. An automatic-update mechanism inside STM32CubeMX keeps the LL APIs up to date with the latest releases.

As a further boost to productivity, the STM32CubeMX tool automates the generation of peripheral-initialisation code with LL APIs for STM32L0, STM32F0, STM32L4, and STM32F3 MCUs. Support for the remaining STM32 series will be added in the coming months. A written guide and an automated tool for the SPL-to-LL code migration are also available.

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