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STMicroelectronics STM32 to Gigadevice GD32

Product Transition Guide

Mariel Galarza in Blogs on July 20, 2022

About Mariel Galarza

Mariel Galarza is an Applications Engineer at Symmetry Electronics. She has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering in Renewable Energy from CETYS Universidad with focused studies in biomass, wind, and solar energy. In her current role, Mariel provides technical support regarding timing, power and microcontrollers. Mariel’s professional background in sales, training, and customer service fortifies her skills in helping customers find optimal solutions for their desired applications. Mariel has a passion for learning and the fast-paced environment of the electrical engineering industry.
Combat-Lengthy-MCU-Lead-Times_By-Transitioning-From-STMicroelectronics-STM32-To-Gigadevice-GD32

What Microcontroller (MCU) cores does Gigadevice offer?

Gigadevice currently offers ARM Cortex-M3, -M4, -M23 and -M33 microcontrollers (MCU) as well as RISC-V MCUs. Among their Cortex-M3 MCUs, they offer basic, mainstream, connectivity, value, and performance selections. Similarly, their M4 MCUs have value, mainstream, high-performance, and stretch performance selections. For the Cortex-M23 core, Gigadevice offers it as a value MCU, and the Cortex-M33 core is offered as a high-performance MCU.

How to cross Gigadevice GD32 from STMicroelectronics STM32

Due to long lead times, many have decided to turn away from STMicroelectronics to look for similar products with better availability. When looking for a replacement for your STMicroelectronics STM32 part, it is important to gather key points of information to obtain the most suitable cross. Drop-in crosses are possible, but not always attainable. When determining possible crosses, it is useful to have a schematic demonstrating the existing STM32’s usage or a functional listing of the existing MCU pins. If a pin-for-pin replacement isn’t a top priority, it’s useful to have a list of the required peripherals, package requirements and, if applicable, the MCU’s power budget for active and sleep/standby mode.

An appropriate product selection can be found by ensuring the following requirements:

  • Power budget
  • Flash and RAM
  • Minimum processor power (M23/M33/M3/M4)
  • Peripherals
  • Package (LQFP, QFN, etc.) and # of pins

Gigadevice’s Product Selector Guide is a great tool for narrowing down your options and exploring the best alternatives. Afterwards a comparison between the STMicro part and the possible alternates will aid in making the final choice.

Development Tools

Gigadevice offers full function evaluation boards and START kits. Evaluation boards are ideal for complete on-chip function evaluation of peripherals including connectivity, external memory busses, LCD displays, etc. They also include a GD-Link and an extension header for available I/Os and prototyping.

START kits are entry-level development kits. START kits allow for quick connection to prototyping boards and easy probing with onboard GD-Link or other compatible simulators by providing an extension header for all package pins. They also support Arduino-compatible interfaces on select boards.

Porting code when transitioning to Gigadevice

When porting code from an STMicro MCU to a Gigadevice MCU, porting efforts can be influenced by many factors such as the following:

  1. Use of peripheral libraries
  2. Use of register-level accesses
  3. Use of a code generator

When peripheral libraries are used, porting efforts are minimal. Although time-consuming, each individual register must be checked for register-level accesses, each individual register must be checked. Checking individual registers is the most difficult part of porting for code generators. While Gigadevice does not offer a code generator, existing code may be ported to use Gigadevice’s peripheral libraries.

Great product families to consider are the M4 core GD32F427, GD32F425, and GD32F470. For low power applications make sure to look at the M23 low power family GD32L233.

Have a question about crossing STM32 with a Gigadevice solution? Our knowledgeable team of expert Applications Engineers is here to assist! Contact Symmetry Electronics today!

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Mariel Galarza in Blogs on July 20, 2022

About Mariel Galarza

Mariel Galarza is an Applications Engineer at Symmetry Electronics. She has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering in Renewable Energy from CETYS Universidad with focused studies in biomass, wind, and solar energy. In her current role, Mariel provides technical support regarding timing, power and microcontrollers. Mariel’s professional background in sales, training, and customer service fortifies her skills in helping customers find optimal solutions for their desired applications. Mariel has a passion for learning and the fast-paced environment of the electrical engineering industry.

Why partner with Symmetry Electronics? Symmetry's technical staff is specially trained by our suppliers to provide a comprehensive level of technical support. Our in-house Applications Engineers provide free design services to help customers early in the design cycle, providing solutions to save them time, money and frustration. Contact Symmetry for more information.

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