Energy-Efficient Solutions from STMicroelectronics Provide Intelligence and Performance to World Solar Challenge Competitors

GENEVA, Oct. 14, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, announced today that several of its products are powering solar cars representing a number of Universities from the United States and Indonesia taking part in this year's World Solar Challenge. The competition starts in Darwin, Australia on October 18, 2015, crosses the unforgiving Outback, and ends 3000km away in Adelaide, one week later.

"The variety of ST parts selected showcases the diversity of our product portfolio and, in particular, the large number of STM32 microcontrollers demonstrates the outstanding balance of energy efficiency and performance we offer," said Paul Grimme, Executive Vice President Mass Market and Online Marketing Programs, STMicroelectronics. "ST components for Smart Driving have proven their reliability in previous World Solar Challenges; we can't wait to see some of the teams' energy-efficiency and safety innovations move into the cars we'll all be driving in the future. We wish all teams the best of luck."

Among the WSC vehicles:

  • The all-student Stanford Solar Car Project, from Stanford University (USA), chose STM32F4 microcontrollers (MCU) for various applications in their solar car, Arctan. The ARM® Cortex®-M core MCUs monitor battery life and solar-panel efficiency and manage the electric motor and driver-control functions. In Arctan-the 4th Stanford solar car with ST components, the STM32 microcontrollers optimize car performance based on real-time analysis of vehicle and environmental conditions. Over the years, the team has evaluated and incorporated other ST components including the SPV1020, a boost converter that optimizes photovoltaic power generation, and ST imaging systems for rear-view cameras.
  • The student-run University of Michigan (USA) Solar Car Team built Aurum, which features STM32F4 microcontrollers delivering intelligence in several vital applications. These include the critically important battery-management systems to measure and control voltage and current consumption, steering through an LCD and button inputs, and dashboard management with a user-input panel for various car settings and controls.
  • The University of Minnesota (USA) Solar Vehicle Project was founded by a team of undergraduates twenty-five years ago. This year's team is competing with its solar car, Eos, which derives its intelligence from STM32F4 microcontrollers, powering every system on the car. This choice was taken to allow the systems to act independently while still communicating with each other. Among other components, the team picked ST Power MOSFETs (STD30NF03LT4 / STR2N2VH5) for their reliability and performance to go into about every system in the car, and TVS diodes for protection of the input and output of the vehicle's main DC-DC buck converter on the Primary Power board.
  • The Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) in Surabaya, Indonesia is home to a group of multidisciplinary students who have assembled the solar car Widya Wahana. The car contains several STM32 microcontrollers from both the F0 and F4 series, as well as motor drivers (L6235) and power transistors, and utilizes the SPV1020 to maximize the power generated by the car's photovoltaic panels.

Inaugurated in 1987, the biennial World Solar Challenge encourages and showcases the development of advanced automotive technology while promoting alternatives to conventional vehicle engines. Participating teams are required to navigate their solar-powered car from Darwin in the north of Australia to Adelaide in the south, across 3,000km of the harsh Australian Outback, using only the sun and careful energy management for power. This year, the organizers have reported the event has attracted a record participation of 47 teams from 25 countries.

For more details on the race:

About STMicroelectronics

ST is a global semiconductor leader delivering intelligent and energy-efficient products and solutions that power the electronics at the heart of everyday life. ST's products are found everywhere today, and together with our customers, we are enabling smarter driving and smarter factories, cities and homes, along with the next generation of mobile and Internet of Things devices. By getting more from technology to get more from life, ST stands for life.augmented.

In 2014, the Company's net revenues were $7.40 billion, serving more than 100,000 customers worldwide. Further information can be found at  

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