STM32CubeIDE is the first integrated development environment from ST, and it will serve as a reference to developers creating solutions for their STM32 microcontrollers. Many use a toolchain from a third-party vendor, and we will continue to work with IAR, Keil, and others, to ensure that they offer an exceptional experience to their users. STM32CubeIDE is nonetheless a highly symbolic initiative because it provides a free and uniquely feature-rich environment to enthusiasts and professionals, thanks to the integration of tools like ￼STM32CubeMX￼ that will enable a more efficient workflow. STM32CubeIDE is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, with a version specific for Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora and a more general installer for the other distributions. ST will continue to update it by including additional STM32Cube software within STM32CubeIDE.
Launched five years ago, the STM32Cube brand designates the solutions we provide to help developers design products and applications. This software ecosystem relies on two pillars: embedded packages and software tools. There are two types of STM32Cube Packages: MCU Packages and Expansion Packages. The MCU Packages (STM32CubeF4, for instance) contain drivers, low-level APIs, as well as demo and example codes for Nucleo and Discovery boards. The STM32Cube Expansion Packages serve as a complement to the MCU Packages by offering additional middleware or drivers, as we recently saw with X-CUBE-AI, the first package in the industry to enable the conversion of a neural network into the optimized code for STM32 MCUs. Finally, the STM32Cube software tools for PCs assist in the design of applications. For instance, STM32CubeMonUCPD is a monitoring tool that works with all our USB-C PD interfaces and libraries to facilitate testing and implementation operations.
Before STM32CubeIDE, What SW4STM32 and TrueSTUDIO Users Must Know
From SW4STM32 to STM32CubeIDE
Previously, developers could use SW4STM32 a free version of System Workbench that supports our entire lineup of microcontrollers. It was popular among enthusiasts and campuses, such as the University of Michigan-Dearborn that used the toolchain to write their driverless car application. STM32CubeIDE already supports almost all our microcontrollers, except the STM32MP1, which is the first STM32 MPU. We expect the new IDE to support it by the third quarter of this year, but in the meantime, ST will continue to offer SW4STM32 even if it won’t receive any additional updates. Moreover, STM32CubeIDE provides the ability to easily port projects from SW4STM32 to make the transition to the new IDE painless.
From TrueSTUDIO to STM32CubeIDE
Developers also had an alternative to SW4STM32 in the form of TrueSTUDIO, which ST bought along with its acquisition of Atollic in 2017. The IDE enabled many developers to understand the inner workings of their applications better. For instance, trace and profiling tools allowed them to trace data, events, memory history and visualize variables in real time, which is an invaluable tool to grasp the code’s behavior without freezing its execution. STM32CubeIDE gets all these features and more, ensuring that people will not miss TrueSTUDIO. Only RTOS-awareness, which helps see the status of objects from the operating system, is not yet available in the new IDE but we will add in a future update. STM32CubeIDE also offers the ability to easily port projects from TrueSTUDIO to facilitate the move to our new solution.
After STM32CubeIDE, What Developers Can Expect
Integration of STM32CubeMX
STM32CubeIDE is much more than a replacement for SW4STM32 or TrueSTUDIO, but a new chapter in the history of STM32Cube thanks to the integration of its packages and software tools. Developers will be able to use the new toolchain to get libraries for their microcontrollers as well as update them when a new version comes out. Even more astonishing, we are also integrating STM32CubeMX right into the development environment to create a seamless experience and make it the most feature-rich free tool in the industry. Developers can select their board or their microcontroller and start a project after configuring the pin out and clock tree. They can also come back more easily to STM32CubeMX if their needs change or realize that they must make adjustments along the way.
Future Integration of Other Cube Software
Over time, STM32CubeIDE will also integrate other STM32Cube software tools, such as STM32CubeMonUCPD or STM32CubeProgrammer. We will share more details as they become available, but, in the meantime, developers have the assurance that the toolchain will become a one-stop shop for all their STM32Cube needs. Just as with STM32CubeMX, we will continue to release standalone versions of our STM32Cube tools for the developers that use other toolchains, ensuring that anyone can easily benefit from our STM32Cube ecosystem, whether engineers are looking for packages or software utilities. Our engineers and researchers will also be using STM32CubeIDE to improve it further. It is common to see ST power devices on ST evaluation boards, such as the new ST1PS01 converter on our LoRa IoT Tracker. Similarly, many of our teams will be dogfooding STM32CubeIDE to report bugs earlier and significantly advance quality control.
Full Compatibility with Eclipse
The new IDE is fully compatible with Eclipse, meaning STM32CubeIDE supports the thousands of plugins for the environment, thus further facilitating the transition to our free toolchain. Developers that rest on plugins to inspect their source code, find bugs, or manage teams using task management systems will be able to use the same solutions, which will give STM32CubeIDE an immediate sense of familiarity, thus lowering the learning curve. We also encourage you to check out the video below to get started with the new STM32CubeIDE and learn how to get an LED on your Nucleo board to blink, the equivalent of a “Hello World!” program. The video will also walk you through basic debug features.