Nucleo Development Board 101

Many of us are familiar with the popular microcontrollers and development boards like:

  • Arduino
  • Raspberry Pi
  • NoduMCU
  • 8051

These are some of the most popular options among hobbyists and makers. But as we dig deep and begin professional designs, we will soon realize the limitations of Arduino (like cost, versatility, stability, speed, etc.) and understand the need to shift to a more native microcontroller platform like PIC, STM, Renesas, etc.

To become familiar with the world of microcontrollers it is necessary to have a development board, which generally allows you to start working on it easily. Fortunately, the ST provides a wide portfolio of development boards. In this article, we will learn about the Nucleo board.

The Nucleo has been introduced a few years ago and divided into three main groups:

  • Nucleo-32
  • Nucleo-64
  • Nucleo-144

The number of pins available, so the package, gives the name to the board:

  • Nucleo-32 uses an LQFP-32 package;
  • Nucleo-64 and LQFP-64;
  • Nucleo-144 an LQFP-144. 

In the next paragraphs, we will see the overview of STM32-64

STM32 Nucleo-64 Board Overview

The STM32 Nucleo-64 boards provide an affordable and flexible way for users to try out new concepts and build prototypes with the STM32 microcontroller, which provides various combinations of performance, power consumption, and features. do not require any separate probe, as it integrates the ST-LINK/V2-1 debugger/programmer. The STM32 Nucleo-64 boards come with the comprehensive free STM32 software libraries and examples that are available with the STM32Cube package

The Nucleo-64 is composed of two parts:

  • ST-LINK part
  • MCU part

The ST-LINK Part

ST-Link USB Mini Connector

  • The board contain a ST-Link USB mini-b connector for programming the board as well as for connecting the external power supply.

ST-Link/ Nucleo Selector

  • If these pins are enabled then the onboard MCU can be programmed using ST-Link Debugger IC.

SWD Connector

  • SWD connector is used to program other MCUs apart from the MCU placed on the board.

Communication LED

  • Red Green communication led for the indication of communication status with pc.

ST-Link Debugger IC

  • It needs to upload the firmware on the target MCU and run the debugging. Furthermore, the ST-LINK interface provides a Virtual COM Port (VCP), which can be used to exchange data and messages with the host PC.

The MCU Part

Buttons

  • There are two buttons on the board the black button is the reset button that is used to reset the controller operation whereas the Blue button is the user button that can be configured as input and for external interrupt.

Connectors

  • There are two types of connectors available on the board one is Arduino connectors that are supported for UNO compatible shields and another one is ST Morpho Connectors these connectors are used to access the input-output pins connected to the MCU.

Power Led

  • It ensures that the power supply is connected.

User Led

  • You can play with this led.

MCU

  • Next is the MCU which is the main brain of the development board.

Oscillators

  • There is a 32.768-kilohertz crystal used for inbuilt RTC and one External high-speed crystal (HSE) is mounted on the board through X3 pads.

I hope you enjoyed reading the article as much as I enjoyed writing it.

😁😁😁

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