STM32F103RCT6 Microcontroller: Equivalents, Pin Configuration, Advantages and Disadvantages and More

13 November 2023 13


Ⅰ. What is a microcontroller?

Ⅱ. STM32F103RCT6 description

Ⅲ. Symbol, footprint and pin configuration of STM32F103RCT6 microcontroller

Ⅳ. Features of STM32F103RCT6 microcontroller

Ⅴ. Technical parameters of STM32F103RCT6 microcontroller

Ⅵ. Advantages and disadvantages of STM32F103RCT6 microcontroller

Ⅶ. Dimensions and package of STM32F103RCT6 microcontroller

Ⅷ. Applications of STM32F103RCT6 microcontroller

Ⅸ. How to use the STM32F103RCT6 development board?

Ⅹ. What’s the difference between STM32F103RCT6 and STM32f103RBT6?



Ⅰ. What is a microcontroller?


A microcontroller is an integrated circuit chip that contains multiple functional modules such as a processor core, memory, input and output ports, and various peripheral interfaces. Simply put, a microcontroller is a chip that can form a system. By applying integrated circuit technology, it integrates data computing and processing capabilities into the chip to achieve high-speed data processing. Compared with traditional microprocessors, it has the advantages of small size, low power consumption, and high integration, so it is widely used in embedded systems.



Ⅱ. STM32F103RCT6 description


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STM32F103RCT6 is a 32-bit microcontroller manufactured by STMicroelectronics based on the ARM Cortex-M3 core. It operates at a frequency of 72MHz, possesses a program memory capacity of 256KB, and utilizes FLASH as its storage type. The chip has 512KB flash memory and 64KB SRAM, as well as a variety of protection mechanisms, such as CRC check, independent watchdog and low-power mode, which can help developers improve system reliability and security. In addition, STM32F103RCT6 also provides a wealth of development tools and software libraries, such as Keil MDK, IAR Embedded Workbench and STMCubeMX, etc., to facilitate developers to design and debug the system. Therefore, It has been widely used in medical equipment, smart home, industrial automation and embedded systems.


Its naming rules can be divided into the following parts:

• STM32: represents STMicroelectronics' 32-bit microcontroller product line

• F103: represents a model in this series. "F" represents the flash memory in this series of products; "1" represents the first generation of this series of products; "03" represents the performance level of the product.

• RCT6: "R" represents the product in LQFP package; "C" represents the 64-pin version of the product in LQFP package; "T6" represents the product's clock frequency is 72MHz.


Replacements and equivalents:

STM32F103RCT6TR

STM32F103RCT7



Ⅲ. Symbol, footprint and pin configuration of STM32F103RCT6 microcontroller


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Ⅳ. Features of STM32F103RCT6 microcontroller


• Low power modes: It supports multiple low power modes that help extend battery life.


• Peripheral interface: It provides multiple peripheral interfaces, including UART, SPI, I2C, USB, timer, ADC (analog-to-digital converter), etc., to meet various communication and control needs.


• DMA controller: The integrated DMA (direct memory access) controller enables high-speed data transfer and reduces the burden on the CPU.


• SRAM memory: Integrated SRAM memory is used to store variables and temporary data, usually with a capacity of 20KB or more.


• Development support: It provides comprehensive development support, including integrated debugging interfaces, development tool chains, and rich software libraries.


• Flash memory: Built-in flash memory can be used to store application code and data, typically 64KB or more.


• Interrupt controller: The integrated interrupt controller supports multiple levels of interrupt priority to facilitate real-time response.


• Operating frequency: It can operate at different operating frequencies, with the highest frequency up to 72MHz. With its high frequency, it is suitable for implementing high-performance computing and control tasks.


• ARM Cortex-M3 core: It integrates the ARM Cortex-M3 core, which is a 32-bit high-performance, low-power microprocessor. It is equipped with an efficient instruction set, hardware segmentation protection and powerful interrupt handling capabilities, making it suitable for a variety of application scenarios.



Ⅴ. Technical parameters of STM32F103RCT6 microcontroller


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Ⅵ. Advantages and disadvantages of STM32F103RCT6 microcontroller


1. Advantages of STM32F103RCT6


(1) Low cost, suitable for small and medium-sized embedded projects;


(2) Supports a variety of peripherals and interfaces, such as USB, CAN, SPI, I2C, USART, etc.;


(3) 64KB flash memory and 20KB SRAM, which can store a large amount of code and data;


(4) 72MHz main frequency, which can meet certain computing needs;


(5) 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 core, which has the advantages of high performance and low power consumption;


2. Disadvantages of STM32F103RCT6


(1) Only supports 3.3V voltage and is not directly compatible with 5V voltage;


(2) Only supports single-chip microcomputer mode and cannot be extended to multi-chip microcomputer systems;


(3) Lack of DSP instruction set and limited ability to process digital signals;


(4) For beginners, the learning curve is steep and requires a certain learning cost.



Ⅶ. Dimensions and package of STM32F103RCT6 microcontroller


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Measuring 10mm in length, 10mm in width, and 1.4mm in height, it employs an LQFP package renowned for superior heat dissipation and a greater pin count. This makes it well-suited for applications demanding a higher number of interfaces and peripherals.



Ⅷ. Applications of STM32F103RCT6 microcontroller


1. Smart instrument


It can realize intelligent and remote control of various instruments, such as water meters, electricity meters, gas meters, etc. Through the USART and UART interface, it can achieve communication and control with the main controller.


2. Medical equipment


Within the realm of medical devices, the STM32F103RCT6 facilitates the supervision and regulation of diverse equipment, encompassing medical diagnostic and treatment devices. Leveraging the ADC and DAC interfaces, it enables the acquisition and emission of analog signals, thereby ensuring precise device control.


3. Wireless communication


STM32F103RCT6 can be used in various wireless communication fields such as Zigbee, LoRa, and NB-IoT.


4. Industrial control


It can be applied to various industrial control fields such as process control, motion control, and robot control. Through interfaces such as SPI, I2C and USART, it can easily communicate and control with other devices.


5. Smart home


The STM32F103RCT6 plays a crucial role in the realm of smart homes, enabling the control of diverse intelligent devices and systems such as smart lighting, security systems, automated curtains and more. Leveraging wireless communication technology, it facilitates remote control and monitoring capabilities.



Ⅸ. How to use the STM32F103RCT6 development board?


1. Hardware connection


To connect the development board to the computer, we can use a USB to serial port module or directly connect to the USB port of the computer. At the same time, based on project needs, we can connect other peripheral devices such as sensors and motors.


2. Software development environment configuration


Next, we install relevant development tools and drivers, such as Keil, IAR, etc. These tools can help us write, compile and debug programs for the STM32F103RCT6 development board.


3. Code writing


According to the project requirements, we write the program for the STM32F103RCT6 development board. During the writing process, we can use the sample code and documentation provided by the development board as a reference.


4. Program download and debugging


We download the written program to the development board for debugging and testing. During this process, we can use debugging tools for single-step debugging or use a debugger for remote debugging.


5. Application deployment


After completing the debugging and testing of the program, we can deploy the program to actual application scenarios. Depending on specific needs, we can burn the program into the chip or deploy it in other ways.



Ⅹ. What’s the difference between STM32F103RCT6 and STM32f103RBT6?


STM32F103RCT6 and STM32F103RBT6 are two types of microcontrollers manufactured by ST. There are some differences between the two in the following aspects.


1. Different operating voltage ranges: The operating voltage range of STM32F103RCT6 is 2V to 3.6V, while the operating voltage range of STM32F103RBT6 is 2V to 3.3V.


2. Different package types: The STM32F103RCT6 employs the LQFP package, whereas the STM32F103RBT6 utilizes the LFBGA package.


3. Different hardware interfaces: The peripheral support of the two is similar, but the specific hardware interfaces are slightly different.




Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is the STM32F103RCT6?


The STM32F103RCT6 is a microcontroller unit (MCU) developed by STMicroelectronics. It belongs to the STM32F1 series and is based on the ARM Cortex-M3 core.


2. How can the STM32F103RCT6 be programmed?


The STM32F103RCT6 can be programmed using various development environments, such as the STM32CubeIDE, Keil MDK, or the Arduino IDE with the STM32 Arduino core.


3. What is the replacement and equivalent of STM32F103RCT6?


You can replace the STM32F103RCT6 with the STM32F103RCT6TR or STM32F103RCT7.


4. What is the clock frequency of the STM32F103RCT6?


The clock frequency of the STM32F103RCT6 can be configured based on application requirements. It supports a maximum CPU frequency of up to 72 MHz.


5. What is STM32F103?


STM32F103 microcontrollers use the Cortex-M3 core, with a maximum CPU speed of 72 MHz. The portfolio covers from 16 Kbytes to 1 Mbyte of Flash with motor control peripherals, USB full-speed interface and CAN.



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