ST Eases Simple GUI Design for Ultra-Low-Cost Devices

Article By : STMicroelectronics

ST is pioneering the HMI of things with a new STM32 Nucleo display shield that leverages the affordability of STM32G0 MCUs...

STMicroelectronics is pioneering the HMI of things with a new STM32 Nucleo display shield that leverages the affordability of STM32G0 microcontrollers (MCUs). The new X-NUCLEO- GFX01M1 SPI shield is supported in the latest TouchGFX software, version 4.15.0, which introduces additional new features including support for low-cost non-memory-mapped SPI Flash ICs.

Designing with STM32G0 and TouchGFX lets developers target a bill of materials as low as $5 to add a small graphical display to any project. Simple devices such as timers, controllers, and home appliances can thus offer a smartphone-like user experience.

The new X-Nucleo-GFX01M1 shield is supported by a new X-cube-display package that offers simple “hello world” example. The shield contains a 2.2-inch QVGA (320×240) SPI display, 64-Mbit SPI NOR Flash, and a joystick and is ready to use with various STM32 MCU development boards such as the NUCLEO-G071RB. The STM32G071RB is a mainstream Arm® Cortex®-M0+ MCU that integrates up to 128kBytes Flash, 36kBytes SRAM, extensive communication interfaces, analog peripherals, fast I/Os, hardware security ID, and a USB Type-C™ Power Delivery controller.

The latest TouchGFX software builds on the TouchGFX Engine’s partial framebuffer, which can reduce the GUI RAM footprint by up to 90% and allow a simple user interface in as little as 16-20KB of internal MCU RAM. A new rendering algorithm enhances GUI performance by realizing partial screen updates in an optimized order to allow extra updates and avoid visually distracting tearing effects. Also new, support for non-memory-mapped SPI Flash allows more complex GUIs to use low-cost off-chip storage for memory-hungry graphics assets such as images and fonts.

To ease user-interface prototyping, an optimized application template for the STM32G071 Nucleo board and display kit is available in TouchGFX Designer. It is also possible to introduce an RTOS to the setup if required and use TouchGFX Generator to change to other hardware.

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