Element 14 have been very kind again sending me a STM32F4 board to try out. I being a Microchip PIC guy have always been thinking of ARM to be an overkill for what I do, until now. This is what was sent to me :

 

The first Impression of the board is, it is very well designed, has loads of extra features like:

  • Integrated ST-Link V2 Debugger
  • On board Accelerometer: LIS302DL, ST MEMS motion sensor
  • On board DAC : CS43L22, audio DAC with integrated class D speaker driver
  • On board Mems Audio Sensor: MP45DT02, ST MEMS audio sensor, omni directional digital microphone
  • 8 SMD Led’s
  • 2 User buttons
  • Extension header for all LQFP100 I/Os
Getting started with programming in Keil:
The board itself is plug and play but will require the ST-Link driver from ST available here. This must be installed before plugging in the demo board to the computer. Once this is done, few settings need to be changed in the Keil environment before we can debug or program. This is all mentioned in the user manual, I thought it would be wise to quickly illustrate that:
Main Window:
Step 1:
Select Configure tools.
Step 2:
Under Debug, select ST-Link Debugger, then click settings.

Step 3:
Change Port to SW

Step 4:
Change to Utilities tab and select ST-Link Debugger if not selected, click settings.

Step 5:
Select Controller: STM32F4xx Flash, Onchip Flash 1M

Step 6:
Change to Output Tab and select create hex file, in case you wish to use the ST-Link standalone utility to flash the board.

It is done!

I also encountered a problem where the IDE showed two ST Link debuggers installed, only one works, the settings for the second one did not show anything.

Conclusion:

All in all this is a very good package, being USB powered is easy to use. Loads of extra features make it a very nice deal. I wish I had this board to hand when I was trying to drive the Cell phone TFT Lcd’s. This will now be used in some of my upcoming projects for sure.

 

Element 14 sell a complete range of STMicro-Tools, these boards can be purchased from element 14 here

The Keil MDK can be downloaded from here