Review of STMicroelectronics STM32F4DISCOVERY Discovery kit for STM32 F4 series

Table of contents

RoadTest: STMicroelectronics STM32F4DISCOVERY Discovery kit for STM32 F4 series

Author: portmanengineering

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Independent Products

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Atmal 32 bit ARM Cortex M3, No other M4 was considered.

What were the biggest problems encountered?: None

Detailed Review:

The STM32F4Discovery board sells for $15.  For that you get the MCU, 1 MB Flash, 192 KB RAM, a micro USB interface, an audio jack with DAC and driver, intergraded mic, an accelerometer, huge ass header interface.  Not to mention the ST-LINK/V2 embedded debug tool that can also be used to program other STM32 ICs.  Wow all that for only $14.87…not a bad deal.  Especially considering buying just the STM32F407VGT6 microcontroller alone from Mouser will cost you $16.00.

The PCB layout is nice with a medium to high density, component placement is proper to limit inner board interference.  The vias are masked, and the solder joints look good.

The board is fun and easy to play with.  Just make sure your first stop is getting the drivers for the ST-LINK/V2,

I would suggest just downloading the utility program, it has the drivers too and a nice little low level programing functionally that I used to debug then setting up IAR EWARM.

There are a bunch of examples to get you started at the ST site, and the community is starting to get some good projects going.  If a stronger community structure can form around the board this could be some real competition for the Arduino.  The simplicity of the whole thing is almost that of Arduino, and as Einstein taught us the most eloquent solutions are often the simplest ones.

So this is a must have board for the Homebrewer and Hackers. 


My real reason for examining this MCU was to determine the performance and price point for a small volume consumer product build of 300 to 500 units.  I will not boor you with the details, and just let you know that the MCU fared well with the highest performance in its class and a moderately competitive price point.  I will have a full vender selection review at after completion of the study.  In the coming days I will have a page added to the site to hold examples and public viewable projects.


Thank you to Element 14 for the opportunity to be part of this roadtest.  Keep up the great work in community development.