STMicroelectronics announces low-power processor chip for Machine-to-Machine Cellular Connections

STMicroelectronics has announced a robust low-power processor chip dedicated to managing SIM data for machine-to-machine (M2M) cellular communications. The ST32-M IC family combines the advantages of advanced non-proprietary processor architecture and high-density low-power embedded-Flash memory, enabling machines to connect to cellular networks and to authenticate themselves and communicate automatically. Applications that use M2M capabilities include the European eCall road-accident alert system, planned for launch in 2010, which allows vehicles to automatically inform rescue services of the location and details of an accident. Other M2M applications include automatic utility-meter reading; retail systems, such as replenishment monitoring for vending machines; security equipment; and asset-management systems.

The chip supports many more data-writing cycles than the standard SIM controller, enabling continuous operation over an extended lifetime. It will also store data reliably for more than 10 years. ST is sampling the first ST32-M devices in Q4 2009 and mass production in the DFN8 6 x 5mm package is expected to begin in Q1 2010.