GigaDevice is a fabless semiconductor company established in 2005, and focused on three product lines all used to build complete ecosystems: high performance Flash, 32-bit general-purpose microcontrollers (MCU), and sensors. On this page, we will focus on their MCUs.
Product Brief & Applications
The GigaDevice 32-bit (GD32™) MCU series are powered by two processor technologies. The first is the powerful ARM® solution with its Cortex®-M3, Cortex®-M4 and latest Cortex®-M23 and Cortex®-M33 cores which make these universal MCUs high-performance, low-power, and cost-effective. The second is a general-purpose microcontroller based on the open standard instruction set architecture RISC-V, more about this later down the page.
GigaDevice’s strong foundation in NOR flash technology, which has brought them to #3 in the world in terms of serial NOR flash devices shipped by 2020, enabled them to apply their advanced patented gFlash memory technology to their GD32 MCUs providing extended functionality, enhanced performance and greater design flexibility.
The GD32™ family is ideal for applications such as industrial control, user interfaces, motor drives, power monitors and alarm systems, consumer and handheld equipment, solar photovoltaic controls, touch panels, PC peripherals, E-bike, gaming, GPS, and many more.
Compare GigaDevice GD32 MCUs
|ARM® Cortex® M3||ARM® Cortex® M4(F)||ARM® Cortex® M23||ARM® Cortex® M33||RISC-V|
|Processor Speed||48 – 120 MHz||84 – 200 MHz||72 MHz||180 MHz||108 MHz|
|Flash Memory||16 – 3072 KB||16 – 3072 KB||16 – 65 KB||256 – 512 KB||16 – 128 KB|
|SRAM||4 – 256 KB||4 – 512 KB||4 – 8 KB||80 – 128 KB||6 – 32 KB|
|Comms Interface Options||SPI, I²C, USART, UART, ADC, DAC, CAN 2.0B, USB 2.0 FS, SDIO, LCD-TFT, Ethernet, Crypto / Hash, CEC, OP-amp, Comp, Camera||SPI, I²C, USART, UART, ADC, DAC, I²S, CAN 2.0B, USB 2.0 FS/HS/OTG, SDIO, LCD-TFT, Ethernet, CEC, Comp, Camera, Image Accel||SPI, I²C, USART, ADC, DAC, I²S, Comp, OP-amp||SPI, I²C, USART, UART, ADC, DAC, I²S, USB 2.0 FS/HS/OTG, SDIO, Ethernet, TMU, SHRTM, Comp||SPI, I²C, USART, UART, ADC, DAC, I²S, CAN 2.0B, USB 2.0 FS OTG|
|I/O||15 – 140||15 – 112||18 – 39||37 – 112||26 – 80|
GD32 ARM Cortex-M3 Microcontrollers
GigaDevice’s initial and popular Cortex®-M3 MCU family (GD32F1xx) are built on a 110nm wafer, operate from a 2.6 to 3.6 V power supply and are available in the Industrial –40 to +85 °C temperature range. An extensive range of devices are available to cover simple applications up to those requiring higher performance and a wider range of the popular interface standards used in todays embedded applications. Three power saving modes provide the flexibility for maximum optimization between wakeup latency and power consumption, an especially important consideration for low power applications.
MCUs designed around the Cortex®-M3 remain to this date very popular and easily interchangeable offering standard pinouts in each package type across the range and compatibility with other products available on the market. However, the current climate of exceptionally high wafer production and packaging demands is slowly but surely making these legacy products give way to the more recent, more powerful Cortex®-M4 based MCUs.
GD32 ARM Cortex-M4 Microcontroller
GD32 ARM® Cortex®-M4(F) MCUs are built on a 55nm wafer. The main additions ARM bring to the M4 core over the M3 are native DSP capabilities and an optional floating-point accelerator which GigaDevice include on the majority of their M4 MCU’s. This helps the user implement more efficient signal processing and complex algorithm execution. They also offer powerful trace technology as well as advanced debug support. This series of MCUs provides a better cost-performance ratio in terms processing capacity enhancement, reduced power consumption, and peripheral set.
Building on the success of their Cortex®-M3 MCU’s GigaDevice now also provide an extensive range of Cortex®-M4 MCU’s but add higher processor speed options (up to 200MHz), additional internal SRAM (up to 512KB) as well as some optional advanced peripherals. For example, USB HS is added as well as an Image Processing Accelerator for configurable and flexible image format conversion.
These MCUs are ideal for markets and applications that demand higher precision such as digital signal control, industrial control, consumer and handheld equipment, embedded modules, human machine interface, security and alarm systems, graphic display, automotive navigation, drones and numerous general IoT applications.
GD32 ARM Cortex-M23 Microcontrollers
The newer ARM® Cortex®-M23 (GD32E2xx) are also produced on a 55nm wafer and provide GigaDevices most affordable MCU option. The M23 is considered to me ARM’s next generation Cortex M0/M0+ providing an enhanced but backward compatible instruction set for more powerful and efficient coding like a hardware divide and immediate moves. This provides engineers with a cost-effective migration path from existing 8-bit and M0/M0+ designs to the latest ARM core aimed at the simpler low cost, low power end of the market.
The GD32E23x devices are suitable for a wide range of applications such as industrial control, motor drives, user-interface, power monitor and alarm systems, consumer and handheld equipment, gaming and GPS, E-bike and so on.
GD32 ARM Cortex-M33 Microcontrollers
The ARM® Cortex®-M33 (GD32E5xx) is the latest MCU core introduced by GigaDevice and produced on a 40nm wafer. The M33 is considered to be ARM’s next generation Cortex-M4 and is based on the latest ARMv8-M architecture providing the optimal balance between performance and power. System frequencies up to 180MHz are supported, and a built-in hardware multiplier/divider, DSP instruction set with additional single-precision floating-point unit (FPU) instructions are some of the enhancements. New features introduced include the TMU – Trigonometric Math Unit with it’s 9 different operation modes, and the SHRTM – Super High-Resolution Timer with a typical resolution of < 90ps.
These features allow the GigaDevice M33 MCU’s to address a wide range of interconnection applications, especially in areas such as switching power supplies, advanced data processing, motor control, power management and other industrial applications as well as general IoT applications which require more Edge Processing.
GD32 RISC-V Microcontrollers
The RISC-V core is a definite differentiating feature that distinguishes GGDV from the numerous other MCU vendors!
The RISC-V core provides an impressive balance of processing power, reduced power consumption and peripheral set. It is based on a free and flexible open RISC Instruction Set Architecture (so no royalties to pay anyone to use the core) and uses free open-source design tools, and therefore tends to be appealing to academic projects. The clock speed is 108MHz and flash memory sizes offered are currently up to 128K flash with the main peripherals, beyond the usual UART/SPI/I2C ports being CAN2.0B and USB 2.0 FS OTG.
These features make the GD32VF103 devices suitable for a wide range of interconnected applications, especially in areas such as industrial control, motor drives, power monitor and alarm systems, consumer and handheld equipment, POS, vehicle GPS, LED display, emerging IoT, Edge Computing etc.
No doubt you will agree that the extensive range of GD32® MCU processors can address a wide range of applications and bring many advantages to the end-user. The maximum speed of GD32® MCU has increased performance by up to 50% over competing products on the market today. As GigaDevice manufacture their own flash devices, increases in memory density are easier to achieve. Universal device options allow designers to easily change their hardware in response to challenging market conditions.
Keep an eye out for GigaDevice’s next MCUs based on the Cortex-M7 to be released in Q4 2021, including a Wireless MCU boasting a 2.4 GHz transceiver for Bluetooth and WiFi!