DEV KIT WEEKLY: GigaDevice's High-Performance Arm Cortex-M33 Kit

November 20, 2020

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“High-performance MCU.” Eyeroll, right? I mean “micro” is in the word "microcontroller."

Well, the 32-bit GD32E5 series MCU featured at the center of this week’s kit gives credence to the oxymoron by integrating an Arm Cortex-M33 core that clocks in at 180 MHz AND integrates a built-in floating-point unit, hardware multiplier/dividers, access to DSP instructions via the ARMV8-M instruction set, as well as a trigonometric math unit that offloads vector, sine, cosine, exponent, square root, common logarithm, and other mathematical operations from the primary CPU.

That processing subsystem represents 244 DMIPS of horsepower and, in conjunction with a host of other peripherals we’ll get to in just a second, makes the GD32E5 processors well equipped for demanding DSP applications like switched-mode power supplies, frequency conversion, industrial control systems, measurement instrumentation, consumer electronics, and precision motor control – high-precision motor control.

As you might guess, the peripherals on the GD320E507 at the heart of this kit are critical to delivering the precision required by those aforementioned applications. These are in packed alongside the compute elements in a 40 nm TSMC process that offers a nice mix of high performance and super-efficient power consumption – in fact, the chips consume 332 µA per MHz, and supports five low-power deep sleep and standby modes down to just 640 nA of power. That's certainly enough to work from a battery.

The chip connects out to the kit through interfaces that include six UARTs, three SPIs, two I2Ss, an SDIO, a high-speed USB 2.0, and one Ethernet, and the setup of course also allows for the use of external memory in the form of SRAM, PSRAM, ROM, NOR flash, 8 or 16-bit NAND flash or 16-bit PC cards. There also happens to be a 3.2" TFT LCD display.

But back to the GD32E507Z-EVAL boards. You’ll have to get in contact with GigaDevices through there website to get your hands on one of these, which you can do by contacting GigaDevice representatives on www.gd32mcu.com or gigadevice.com. But if you don’t want to go through all that, feel free to enter this week’s raffle in which we’ll be giving away two of these GD32E507Z-EVAL boards, as well as one of these companion GD32E507V-START starter kits, for absolutely free.

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Well, that’s it for this week. Good luck in the raffle for this week’s mighty mouse, high-performance GigaDevice kit, and we’ll see you next week on Dev Kit Weekly.

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