Introduction to the STM32 Blue Pill (STM32duino) and other STM32 boards

STMicroelectronics STM32 32-Bit ARM® Cortex®-M MCUs are based on the Arm Cortex-M processor. The MCUs offer a 32-bit product range that combines very high performance, real-time capabilities, digital signal processing, and low-power, low-voltage operation. This is achieved while maintaining full integration and ease of development.

There is a large range of STM32 devices, based on an industry-standard core and accompanied by a vast choice of tools and software, makes this family of products the ideal choice, both for small projects and for entire platform decisions. STM32 microcontrollers are supported by a complete range of tools.

The STM32 portfolio features a variety of options, now including Arm Cortex-M cores (M0, M0+, M3, M4, and M7). This gives developers the flexibility to find the perfect STM32 for applications.

Here are some links and information on STM32 based microcontroller boards and how to use them.

Introduction to the STM32 Blue Pill (STM32duino) article at
https://predictabledesigns.com/introduction-stm32-blue-pill-stm32duino/ will tell you how the STM32duino stacks up against an Arduino and how to make it compatible with the Arduino integrated development environment (IDE). Commonly referred to as the STM32 Blue Pill, this board has nearly all the capabilities of the Arduino module but with a cheaper price. There are also issues: It is not compatible with most Arduino shields (due to differences in size and pinouts) and there are some steps that have to be taken before it can run Arduino code

Blue Pill STM32F103C8T6
https://stm32-base.org/boards/STM32F103C8T6-Blue-Pill.html

How to use STM32 boards with Arduino IDE and how fast are they? (incl. surprise)

Links to more information:

WEB-CENTRIC GABUINO HAS COMPILER, WILL TRAVEL
https://hackaday.com/2022/01/23/web-centric-gabuino-has-compiler-will-travel/

Mark Carter Offers “Rambling” Thoughts on Why IDEs Suck and the STM32 Versus the Raspberry Pi RP2040 “My current thinking is to operate a dual strategy,” Carter offers, “switching between the Pico and the STM32 as the mood takes me.”
https://www.hackster.io/news/mark-carter-offers-rambling-thoughts-on-why-ides-suck-and-the-stm32-versus-the-raspberry-pi-rp2040-864ea19172de

BLUE PILL VS BLACK PILL: TRANSITIONING FROM STM32F103 TO STM32F411
https://hackaday.com/2021/01/20/blue-pill-vs-black-pill-transitioning-from-stm32f103-to-stm32f411/

D-MARK Requires No IDE to Explore the Capabilities of an Arm MCU
This open source, easy-to-use development board is based on an STM32F070RB.
https://www.hackster.io/news/d-mark-requires-no-ide-to-explore-the-capabilities-of-an-arm-mcu-eab7be9b8782

STMicroelectronics STM32 32-Bit Arm® Cortex®-M MCUs

System Workbench for STM32: free IDE on Windows, Linux and OS X
https://www.st.com/en/development-tools/sw4stm32.html

Could it run Doom? Mostly likely. STMicroelectronics NV just announced new STM32H7s featuring a Cortex-M7 running at 550 MHz.
New STM32H7s Are the Fastest Cortex-M7 MCUs Available
Could it run Doom? Mostly likely
https://www.hackster.io/news/new-stm32h7s-are-the-fastest-cortex-m7-mcus-available-119499021f00

Arduino Portenta Vision Shield includes a low-power camera, twin microphones, and Ethernet or LoRa connectivity.
Arduino #Portenta H7, the first STM32 Arduino board to deploy machine vision with OpenMV IDE
Arduino Launches Portenta H7 Vision Shield Add-On for Edge Computer Vision, Voice Work
https://www.hackster.io/news/arduino-launches-portenta-h7-vision-shield-add-on-for-edge-computer-vision-voice-work-c5c166d206da
https://blog.st.com/portenta-h7/?ecmp=tt18011_gl_social_oct2020
https://blog.arduino.cc/2020/10/06/embedded-machine-vision-goes-pro-with-the-new-portenta-vision-shield/?ecmp=tt18011_gl_social_oct2020

STM32F Nucleo-64 Development Boards Review
http://mag.breadboard.pk/stm32f-nucleo-64-development-boards-review/

With the market for STM32F103C8-based ‘Blue Pill’ boards slowly being overrun with boards that contain either a cloned, fake or outright broken chip, really wanted to have an easy, automated way to quickly detect whether a new board contains genuine STM32 silicon, or some fake that tries to look the part. After more than a year of work, the Blue Pill Diagnostics project……
https://hackaday.com/2021/06/23/test-your-blue-pill-board-for-a-genuine-stm32f103c8-mcu/

Olimex’s Open Source OLIMEXINO-STM32F3 Handles Simultaneous USB, CAN Bus Communication
A shift to the new STM32 F3 series increases available flash and RAM, allows for USB and CAN bus operation simultaneously, and more.
https://www.hackster.io/news/olimex-s-open-source-olimexino-stm32f3-handles-simultaneous-usb-can-bus-communication-2d42a07dc839

KiCad STM32 Hardware Design and JLCPCB Assembly
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5phi3nT8OU
KiCad STM32 + USB + Buck Converter PCB Design and JLCPCB Assembly (Update)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7-8nUU6e3E

STM32 Programming Tutorial for Custom Hardware | SWD, PWM, USB, SPI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_5rYfAyqq0

DFU is a SW is for programming the STM32 via the USB (UM0412)
The package contains all binaries and source code for DfuSe USB device firmware upgrade (DFU) software, including the demonstration, debugging GUIs and protocol layers.
https://www.st.com/en/development-tools/stsw-stm32080.html?s_searchtype=keyword
NanoVNA is based on STM32 MCU
Upgrade NanoVNA use DFU
https://nanovna.com/?page_id=103

Bootstrapping support for the STM32WLE with the Embedded Rust ecosystem
https://jitter.company/blog/2020/11/23/bootstrapping-support-for-the-stm32wle-with-the-embedded-rust-ecosystem/

Midatronics has launched a pair of Arduino MKR form factor dev boards based around STMicroelectronics NV’s STM32WB55CG with Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy and IEEE 802.15.4 communications capabilities — and they’re a drop-in replacement.

https://www.hackster.io/news/midatronics-mkr-sharkypro-family-packs-an-stmicro-stm32wb55cg-into-an-arduino-mkr-form-factor-12aadd94f1b5

Reclaimer Labs Releases STM32WB Feather Board for $45
This development board is based on dual-core Arm SoC with wireless and ultra-low-power features.
https://www.hackster.io/news/reclaimer-labs-releases-stm32wb-feather-board-for-45-189781175b90

STM32 project links:

A quick post on using SPI to communicate between Maker Nano and STM32 “Blue Pill”
SPI between Maker Nano ( Arduino Nano Clone ) and STM32 “Blue Pill” – Part 2
https://www.makeriot2020.com/index.php/2020/09/25/spi-between-maker-nano-arduino-nano-clone-and-stm32-blue-pill-part-2/?fbclid=IwAR1TB2FAQDq63FRLd9uMbo-Basrv2dz_ht1P9YLbDFiMQT4kJeinlo7h7EA
https://www.facebook.com/groups/electronichobycircuits/permalink/3610929192265097/

PAL-Streamer: Transmit a video stream to a PAL analog TV using low-frequency PWM
https://hackaday.io/project/171977-pal-streamer

ISASTM Can Run Vintage Video Cards Over USB
ISASTM is an ISA host driven by an STM32 to enable ISA cards in a VM or even emulate an x86 system internally over an external ISA bus.
https://www.hackster.io/news/isastm-can-run-vintage-video-cards-over-usb-a58955f710cf

OtterCalc
opensource calculator with full keyboard and extras gadgets
https://hackaday.io/project/175282-ottercalc

The Blue Pill Mandelbrot can zoom into the complex boundary using an STM32, tiny RGB display, and OpenOCD.
Dive In Deep with the Mandelbrot Set Using an STM32 Microcontroller
The Blue Pill Mandelbrot can zoom into the complex boundary using an STM32, tiny RGB display, and OpenOCD.
https://www.hackster.io/news/dive-in-deep-with-the-mandelbrot-set-using-an-stm32-microcontroller-bfdd0ddb948d

Emulating a Commodore 64 on an STM32F429 Discovery Board
This emulator features a 2.4″ LCD display, USB OTG jack, USB keyboard support, and offers full 6502 emulation.
https://www.hackster.io/news/emulating-a-commodore-64-on-an-stm32f429-discovery-board-45b5e730e7e0

PET 2001 emulator is running on the STM32F103 BluePill development board, little slow but working perfectly fine.
https://www.hackster.io/news/pet-2001-emulator-on-an-stm32duino-adb78ce613a7
https://github.com/bjoernQ/bluepet

Buck50 Firmware Transforms Blue Pill Development Board Into Test and Measurement Platform
This firmware allows an STM32F103 board to act as a logic analyzer, digital storage o-scope, digital pulse train generator, and more.
https://www.hackster.io/news/buck50-firmware-transforms-blue-pill-development-board-into-test-and-measurement-platform-c3eb4c1e8af1

Developer Alex Kalmuk has written a guide on making a homebrew VoIP phone, based on the Session Initiation Protocol, driven by an STM32 microcontroller — complete with a graphical user interface.
Alex Kalmuk’s Embox-Based SIP Phone, Complete with GUI, Runs on an STM32 Microcontroller
Built atop an STM32F769I-Disco evaluation board, this SIP phone took just a couple of days to develop.
https://www.hackster.io/news/alex-kalmuk-s-embox-based-sip-phone-complete-with-gui-runs-on-an-stm32-microcontroller-d277739d25d6
https://github.com/embox/embox/wiki/PJSIP-on-STM32
https://alexkalmuk.medium.com/sip-phone-with-gui-on-stm32-1c3b4abf7ed4

Mothra Is an Acoustics Laboratory on a Stick
This STM32UW-based development board is ideal for low-power sound applications.
https://www.hackster.io/news/mothra-is-an-acoustics-laboratory-on-a-stick-5e8d20d402dc

YOUR PLANTS CAN TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES NOW
https://hackaday.com/2021/03/14/your-plants-can-take-care-of-themselves-now/

Boot Selector Switch for Linux or Windows
Stephen Holdaway’s hack uses a physical switch and an STM32 processor to boot in Windows or Linux.
https://www.hackster.io/news/boot-selector-switch-for-linux-or-windows-8f655f240743

Electronic Drum Toy Built From Scratch
The brains of the operation is the STM32F100VET6B, which comes complete with a 12-bit DAC for outputting sound.
https://hackaday.com/2022/01/11/electronic-drum-toy-built-from-scratch/
https://github.com/spanceac/electro-drums/

17 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Geehy APM32F103 clone of STM32F103 MCU has been tested to work without PCB or code modifications
    https://www.cnx-software.com/2022/07/04/geehy-apm32f103-clone-of-stm32f103-mcu-has-been-tested-to-work-without-pcb-or-code-modifications/

    Geehy APM32F103 is a clone of STMicro STM32F103 MCU that has been tested by at least one person who claims it was just a drop-in replacement and PCB, code, hex, testing, and production did not have to be changed at all.

    Most STM32 microcontrollers are in short supply with 52+ weeks lead times and prices going through the roof, so people may be looking into the long list STM32 clones and fakes including APM32F103. They all claim to be pin-to-pin and firmware compatible, but when theory meets reality, things may go wrong. For instance, last year I had a conversation with one person who switched to GD32 microcontroller and had all sorts of issues

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    An STM32 Emulator in Rust
    https://blog.adafruit.com/2022/07/29/an-stm32-emulator-in-rust-stm32-emulation-rust-nviennot/

    Nicolas Viennot has written an STM32 microcontroller emulator in Rust.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    HS402 Android STM32 USB Type-C DIY Oscilloscope
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-dJitaNv4U

    Timestamps:
    00:00 – Intro
    00:12 – Circuit and components
    01:51 – STM32 “BlackPill” module
    02:28 – Board
    02:53 – Soldering
    03:26 – Power checking
    03:34 – Ways of flashing board
    04:04 – Flashing with USB-COM converter
    06:12 – Flashing with USB in DFU mode
    06:53 – Flashing with STLINK
    07:21 – First configurations and calibrations
    08:42 – Test with PWM-signal
    09:32 – Test with LC-circuit
    10:12 – Test with generator
    10:35 – Conclusions
    10:48 – WiFi with ESP32

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Installing the STM32 USB Bootloader, Easily! [SEE DESCRIPTION]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbiT6IxGP0

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Rotary Encoder: How Hard Can It Be?

    https://hackaday.com/2022/04/20/a-rotary-encoder-how-hard-can-it-be/

    I needed a rotary encoder — I pulled a cheap one out of one of those “49 boards for Arduino” kits you see around. Not the finest encoder in the land, I’m sure, but it should do the job. Unfortunately, Mbed OS doesn’t have a driver for an encoder and the first few third-party libraries I found either worked via polling or wouldn’t compile with the latest Mbed. Of course, reading an encoder isn’t a mysterious process. How hard can it be to write the code yourself? How hard, indeed. I thought I’d share my code and the process of how I got there.

    Arm Pumps Up The Volume With Mbed And A Potentiometer

    https://hackaday.com/2022/04/19/arm-pumps-up-the-volume-with-mbed-and-a-potentiometer/

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Arm Pumps Up The Volume With Mbed And A Potentiometer

    https://hackaday.com/2022/04/19/arm-pumps-up-the-volume-with-mbed-and-a-potentiometer/

    Last time, I told you how to get started with the “Black Pill” STM32F411 board using the Mbed OS. The example program, admittedly, didn’t use many of the features of the OS, unless you count what the USB serial port driver uses behind the scenes. However, this time, we’ll make a practical toy that lets you adjust your PC’s volume level with a pot.

    The Black Pill is a good choice for this application since it has analog inputs and can act as a USB keyboard. In fact, the Mbed OS has drivers for all kinds of USB devices.

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Arduino Unveils the Opta, Its First “Micro PLC” for the Industrial Internet of Things
    Built around the STM32H747XI, the Opta family — available in Ethernet, RS485, and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth variants — aims at the professionals.
    https://www.hackster.io/news/arduino-unveils-the-opta-its-first-micro-plc-for-the-industrial-internet-of-things-d97f1d6b868a

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Air32F103 is a clone of STM32F103 clocked at up to 216 MHz
    Air32F103 is yet another clone of the STM32F103 microcontroller that can be faster if needed with a clock of up to 216 MHz instead of 72 MHz for the original STMicro STM32 Arm Cortex-M3 microcontroller.
    https://www.cnx-software.com/2022/11/21/air32f103-is-a-clone-of-stm32f103-clocked-at-up-to-216-mhz/

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    An Affordable And Programmable PLC
    https://hackaday.com/2022/12/08/an-affordable-and-programmable-plc/

    We’re all used to general purpose microcontroller boards such as the Arduino or its many imitators, but perhaps we don’t see as much of their industrial cousins. A programmable logic controller (PLC) is a computer designed to automate industrial machinery, and comes with protected interfaces and usually a specific PLC programming environment. Thus [Galopago]’s work with an inexpensive Chinese PLC clone is especially interesting, providing a route forward to using it within the Arduino IDE ecosystem.

    Opening it up, the processor is identified as an STM32F103, and the connection needed to place it in bootloader mode is identified. Then it can be programmed from the Arduino IDE, even though its bootloader can’t be changed. Then to complete the process it’s necessary to identify the various different inputs and outputs by old-fashioned hardware reverse engineering.

    Repurposing a PLC clone for use with Arduino
    https://galopago.github.io/english/repurposing-plc-clone-arduino/

    Attack of the clonesPermalink

    These boards mention compatibility with GX software, which is manufactured by a Japanese company that makes PLC and also cars. At first sight, the compatibility is not official, as no trademark is printed. Their origin is unknown, maybe they were simplified copies based on original schematics and source code, or somehow the native binary format of the PLC was reverse engineered and an interpreter was built and runs in the microcontroller translating the code. Most of the cards are based on STM32 microcontrollers, and according to some articles and videos, the original programming software actually recognizes them as an original PLC!

    Due to their low cost (around $25 USD), and for their relay isolated outputs, optically isolated inputs, RS232 serial port and regulated power supply, are great candidates for small projects as long as they can be programmed with a free multi-platform tool like Arduino or STM suite. In addition, a schematic diagram is needed to find out which I/O of the microcontroller goes to which peripheral in the board!

    Reply

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