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I have a couple of question on ST's STSPIN32F0A 3-phase BLDC driver and I was hoping someone can help me figure out some parts of the schematic. The schematic shows the STSPIN32F0A (pg. 1) connected to the onboard ST-LINK debugger via the SWD pins (SWD_IO and SWD_CLK, pins PA13 and PA14 respectively) and also via the UART lines (pins PB6 and PB7).

The SWD lines are for programming the STSPIN32F0A correct? What role is the UART playing here? THere doesn't seem to be any specific firmware for the onboard ST-LINK on the product page. Does this mean it has some custom firmware that isn't public?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What did ST micro say when you asked them? \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Nov 22 '18 at 8:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ They haven't yet responded to my support query and its been a few days now. \$\endgroup\$ – electrophile Nov 22 '18 at 8:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you try snooping on the bus to see whether it is in use? \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Nov 22 '18 at 21:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't have the eval board. I thought I'd understand the schematics and see what kind of support exists before finally committing to it. The ST forums which are usually very helpful, turned up nothing this time. \$\endgroup\$ – electrophile Nov 23 '18 at 2:21
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I will do my best to answer that. STM designs their development board so that there is a possibility to communicate with a PC using uart trough the onboard ST Link. This is called virtual COM port (VCP)

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SWD is for programming the firmware into the STM32F031 microcontroller embedded inside the STSPIN32F0A, as well as debugging the running code through an ST-LINK programmer/debugger. As @Alex Fedoseev mentions, the UART can be used as a serial port (again through an ST-LINK if it's embedded in the demo board, which seems to be the case) for bidirectional communication. It should also be usable to load a firmware through the embedded bootloader.

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