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Wireless MCUs Ready for Incoming Cybersecurity Regulations

March 6, 2024
STMicroelectronics' highly integrated chips support multiple wireless technologies and the latest security standards.

Supporting multiple wireless technologies and latest security standards, STMicroelectronics' latest short-range wireless microcontrollers are all-in-one components that enable wearables and smart objects to become more miniaturized, easy to use, and secure. The cost-effective MCUs leverage short-range wireless technologies like Bluetooth LE, Zigbee, and Thread to connect smart devices to home bridges, gateways, and controllers, including smartphones. 

The STM32WBA5 family offers a compact one-chip solution that reduces the bill of materials and shortens time-to-market. It accomplishes those goals by relieving wireless design challenges while being compatible with the development tools and software packs of the STM32 microcontroller development ecosystem.

The flagship STM32WBA55 microcontroller can communicate using multiple protocols simultaneously, like Bluetooth LE 5.4, Zigbee, Thread, and Matter. ST also supports the latest Bluetooth LE Audio specifications, enabling next-generation products that offer a better listening and hearing experience, including Bluetooth Auracast.

“Lead customers are already appreciating the enhanced wireless performance, flexibility, and security of our latest STM32WBA wireless microcontrollers," said Benoit Rodrigues, Wireless MCU Division General Manager, STMicroelectronics. "They are creating diverse products including smart thermostats, tracking devices, smart chargers, headsets, power tools, and smart meters.” 

He added, “The extensive software ecosystem that provides communication stacks, microcontroller-specific software packs, sample code, and tools helps developers bring new products to market based on these MCUs quickly and efficiently.”

Satisfying SESIP and Other Upcoming Mandates

Presented as the first wireless MCU currently available that can achieve the important SESIP (Security Evaluation Standard for IoT Platforms) Level 3 security certification, products based on STM32WBA microcontrollers can satisfy the US Cyber Trust Mark and EU Radio Equipment Directive (RED) regulations due to become mandatory in 2025. The company will also introduce a ready-to-use module with the STM32WBA and all necessary external components, including a power supply and antenna-balancing circuitry.

Olivier Hersent, CEO, Abeeway (Actility Group), said, “We work with smart asset tracking devices which are connected through Bluetooth to mobiles and through mobile apps to the cloud, enabling us to deliver complete asset tracking management for our customers. ST’s microcontrollers bring wireless connectivity to our multi-mode trackers. 

“We have selected the new wireless connectivity product, STM32WBA5, for its enhanced performance with ultra-low-power radio capabilities, which is key for our battery-powered devices. They ensure stable connectivity in the harsh industrial environment where we operate, combined with security that meets the highest industry standards.”

Tom Roberts, CTO, Performance Designed Products (PDP), stated, “We believe that gaming peripherals should be as unique and accessible as the gaming community itself. ST and PDP have worked together through several video game generations, and we have used STM8 and STM32 devices for many years. ST products consistently provide the features we need in our highly competitive market segment.

"We recently selected ST’s short-range wireless connectivity product, the STM32WBA5, based on the integrated MCU and Bluetooth low-energy technology, as the right solution for a new, groundbreaking game controller. The STM32WBA offered us an ideal combination of performance, peripherals, cost efficiency, and ecosystem support that enabled simple and fast development.”

The STM32WBA54 and STM32WBA55 each contain a 100-MHz Arm Cortex-M33 core with TrustZone architecture and up to 1 MB of flash memory. Offering inherently low power consumption, they have a background autonomous mode and flexible power-saving states to extend operational battery life in portable products.

ST’s latest 2.4-GHz radio is integrated alongside the MCU. It's the first to let the application control the RF output power, with an adjustment range of up to +10 dB to ensure reliable wireless connections even under adverse conditions.

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