Embedded systems are computer systems dedicated to performing specific tasks in various devices, such as the Internet of Things (IoT). Microcontrollers are fundamental components in embedded systems and can be found in a variety of applications, such as:
- household appliances
- medical devices
- industrial control systems
With microcontrollers, it is possible to have a compact and efficient solution for implementing the control logic of these devices.
How do you choose microcontrollers for embedded systems?
Below we list some important characteristics that should be considered when choosing a microcontroller for embedded systems:
- microcontroller architecture (8-bit, 16-bit or 32-bit architectures);
- clock speed, which directly influences the processing rate;
- integrated peripherals (GPIO inputs and outputs, communication interfaces, analog-to-digital converters, among others);
- power consumption;
- flash memory for storing the program and RAM memory for temporary data;
- ease of development;
GigaDevice microcontrollers for embedded systems
With an advanced manufacturing process, attractive cost and excellent application potential, GigaDevice's GD32H7 microcontrollers are ideal for:
- signal processing
- high-precision motor control
- digital power supplies
- energy storage
- audio and voice recognition
- graphics and imaging applications.
In addition, the GD32H7 series offers high processing power, energy efficiency, connectivity and comprehensive security functions. The GD32H7 microcontroller (MCU) portfolio has 27 models divided into three series, available in five types of encapsulation: BGA176, LQFP176, LQFP144, BGA100 and LQFP100.
Due to the high clock speed of the CPU core and the large memory size, this product also supports applications that require intensive processing resources, such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Another important point is that GigaDevice's GD32H7 MCUs break the traditional performance limits of general-purpose microcontrollers. These MCUs have superior processing power to enable innovative applications in embedded systems, such as:
- complex computing;
- multimedia processing
- edge computing;
- ML and AI algorithms.
GD32H7 microcontroller features
The GD32H7 MCU series integrates various peripherals, including eight U(S)ARTs, four I2Cs, six SPIs, four I2Ss, two SDIOs and two Octal SPI (OSPI, backwards compatible with QSPI) with real-time decryption supported by a real-time detection module (RTDEC). The GD32H7 has two USB 2.0 OTG interfaces, supporting Full-Speed and High-Speed operating modes. It also integrates three CAN-FD modules and two Ethernet interfaces to meet the demand for high-speed communication.
In addition, the GD32H7 MCU series offers excellent graphic display solutions and audio and video connectivity. It also has a TFT-LCD controller and an image processing accelerator (IPA) for 2D image processing operations such as:
- zoom in and out;
- conversion between various color modes.
The microcontrollers also integrate a serial audio interface (SAI), an SPDIF audio interface and an 8-bit to 14-bit digital camera interface for video and image capture and transmission. As for power, the GD32H7 MCU series adopts a supply voltage range of 1.71 V to 3.6 V DC, with its advanced power management capability. It also has three power supply modes (LDO, SMPS and direct power supply) and five low power consumption modes for a flexible power supply scheme with balanced system power consumption.
To top it off, the GD32H7 MCU has 4 general-purpose 32-bit timers, 12 general-purpose 16-bit timers, 4 basic 64-bit and 32-bit timers and 2 advanced PWM timers. As a result, they display more images and at a higher resolution than competing products, giving designers more options with greater precision.
The sampling rate of these microcontrollers is two internal 14-bit ADCs, which can reach up to 4 MSPS, and the sampling rate of the 12-bit ADC goes up to 5.3 MSPS. In addition, they integrate a fast comparator, DAC and other high-precision analog peripherals to support other types of motor control applications.
In the image below, you can see the GigaDevice microcontroller families and their specifications.
Find out more about other features and characteristics of these microcontrollers below.
Powerful on-chip integration
The GD32H7 microcontroller series adopts a high-performance Arm® Cortex®-M7 core based on the Armv7E-M architecture, with a clock frequency of up to 600 MHz. Its performance is further enhanced by the high-bandwidth AXI+ AHB bus and the six-stage pipeline architecture with branch prediction capability.
In addition, the integrated advanced digital signal processing (DSP) hardware accelerator and double precision floating point unit (FPU), as well as the trigonometric math unit (TMU) and hardware filter accelerator (FAC), significantly reduce the CPU load and increase the processing efficiency of these microcontrollers.
GigaDevice's GD32H7 series can operate up to 1,552 DMIPS at its highest frequency and achieve an excellent performance of 2,888 points in CoreMark® benchmark tests, improving code execution efficiency by approximately 10% compared to similar products on the market operating at the same frequency. The product's performance is more than 40% higher than that of Cortex®-M4 products.
The integrated memories in the GD32H7 MCU series range from 1,024 KB to 3,840 KB flash and 1,024 KB SRAM, including 512 KB of tightly coupled memory (TCM) configurable for zero wait execution of critical instructions and data. The 64 KB high-speed L1 cache memory (I-Cache, D-Cache) further increases the CPU's processing efficiency and real-time performance.
Its external memory controller (EXMC) allows access to various types of external memory, such as SDRAM, SRAM, ROM, NOR Flash and NAND Flash. While the integrated Embedded Trace Macrocell (ETM) can trace instructions and data in real time, providing advanced debugging functions without interfering with normal CPU operations, the GD32H7 series' large internal memory space can support rich operating systems, embedded ML and AI and other advanced algorithms, enabling high-performance, low-latency real-time control.
Security for embedded systems
Another important point in electronic designs for embedded systems is security. That is why the GD32H7 MCU series supports various functions that make these systems more secure. We have listed some of them below:
- Integrated hardware encryption of DES, 3DES or AES algorithms and hash algorithms for different security applications: guarantees data integrity and protects transmitted information.
- ECC verification: effectively improves system reliability.
- Integrated RTDEC module: can decrypt data on the AXI or AHB bus in real time to maintain the confidentiality of the read firmware stored in external SPI NOR flash memories.
Compatibility and development of electronic projects
The GD32H7 product family is compatible with existing GD32 microcontrollers and offers three product types with different system resource configurations:
- GD32H73 MCU: supports three CAN 2.0B channels;
- GD32H757 and GD32H759: support three high-speed CAN-FD channels.
From an encapsulation point of view, the GD32H757 is offered in BGA100 and LQFP144/100 options, while the GD32H759 is available in BGA176 and LQFP176 encapsulations. In addition, GigaDevice's GD32 development ecosystem provides a free development environment for the new GD32H7 MCU series, the GD32 Eclipse IDE and the GD32 All-In-One Programmer.
These technologies support direct programming with GD-LINK's SWD/JTAG mode or via the host's UART, USB and I2C interfaces. Other popular embedded tools, such as Arm® KEIL, IAR and SEGGER, will also provide comprehensive support on GD32H7 MCUs, including their integrated development environment (IDE) and debugging or tracing functions.
GigaDevice also partners with leading real-time operating systems (RTOS) and middleware, such as graphical user interfaces (GUI) and embedded AI algorithms to accelerate customer project development with a short time to market.
GigaDevice has several development boards for those who are testing their embedded systems solution. These include:
The boards are available for different types of encapsulation, allowing projects to be developed and debugged more quickly.
Would you like to have these microcontrollers in your embedded system? Contact our experts and discover the full potential of GigaDevice's products.