Air32F103 is a clone of STM32F103 clocked at up to 216 MHz

Air32F103 is yet another clone of the STM32F103 microcontroller that can be faster if needed with a clock of up to 216 MHz instead of 72 MHz for the original STMicro STM32 Arm Cortex-M3 microcontroller.

The first SKU of the family is the Air32F103CBT6 whose peripherals and hardware design are compatible with equivalent STM32F103CBT6 parts and offered with 32KB RAM and 128KB flash. There’s also a Bluepill-like development board, but with a different pinout, made by LuatOS.

AIR32F103 development board

Documentation for the board and microcontroller can be found in a Wiki including the MCU datasheet that indicates models with 256KB flash and 64KB SRAM (Air32F103CCT6) and 96KB SRAM (Air32F103RPT6). Since the wiki is in Chinese only, you may want to head over a post in English on Chowdera to learn how to get started with the Keil IDE using code hosted on Gitee.

AIR32F103 packages
Available packages (LQFP64 for Air32F103RPT6 only)
AIR32F103 board pinout

The chip and board were also spotted on EEVBlog forms and some users got hold of it. One important point is that the company, named Shanghai Hezhou Communication Technology Co., Ltd. (上海合宙通信科技有限公司), also provides Air103 and Air105, but those are not compatible being based on the C-Sky architecture instead.

The users who tried the board found it to be working just fine. For example, Fanoush flashed Espruino for STM32 to the Air32 board and noted that USB and GPIO worked out of the box, with much lower flash latency than on the original STM32 or the APM32 clone, and we’re also told OpenOCD works on the board. But just don’t expect 100% compatibility as there are some differences listed in the wiki.

It won’t hurt your wallet to try the chip, as the Air32F103 development board is just sold for under $2 on Aliexpress plus shipping ($0.21 here) and eventual VAT for readers based in Europe.

Thanks to Zoobab for the tip.

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11 Replies to “Air32F103 is a clone of STM32F103 clocked at up to 216 MHz”

  1. quote “64MB SRAM (Air32F103CCT6) and 96MB SRAM (Air32F103RPT6)”
    should be “64KB SRAM (Air32F103CCT6) and 96KB SRAM (Air32F103RPT6)”

  2. Given the apparent shortage of STM32 as seen from Europe that participates in stalling the cars production chain, I’m not surprised to see new STM32 clones.

    I guess grblHAL will provide an update for this board, whose tripled frequency certainly helps it compare favorably to FPU-enabled ones.

  3. Shipping to USA was a bit more for single boards, but leveled off very quickly, so 10 boards eneded up constin $2.20 each (with tax and shipping). I’ll give them a shot. If not, I’ll go yell at zoobab. 🙂

    1. Will order one or to to try DirtyJTAG firmware on there, openocd port should be merged soon. I wonder if the 216mhz could speed things up, let’s see…

      1. Darn, those come with way faster shipping, too. Oh, well, I’ll see if the January delivery date is correct for my other order. ;( Thanks, zoobab.

      2. $ pyocd list
         #  Probe/Board            Unique ID                                         Target        
         0  Arm DAPLink CMSIS-DAP  070000011a5a5bb50000000001d37ceca5a5a5a597969908  ✖︎ stm32f103rb 
             STMicroelectronics     NUCLEO-F103RB                                                    

        Looks DAPlinkey. Lies about the chip and board, through. Wonder if they just coned an existing chip/board and fudged the bits they had to change instead of going through the work of doing it right. *shocked face*

  4. A fair bit of difference in peripherals, TIM2-5 CH3 being unusable for output for example is a showstopper for a lot of software depending on multiple PWM channels.

    I’m sure those flashing retarduino on it will never notice tho.

    Honestly China needs to stop cloning these garbage 103 peripherals/cores.

    Clone new GPIO, I2C, DMA controllers and not the garbage from F103.
    So far GD32F450 and FCM32F0xx stuff are the better clones usability wise, these 103 peripherals are absolute garbage…

    1. I placed on the official taobao store, unfortunately, based on the tracking updates, it appears that they may not be able to ship to my Canadian address.



  5. I guess this is interesting for manufacturers using the ST part whose supplies have dried up. I have to wonder about peripheral compatibility as timecop1818 mentions. And, the ST part is noted for having very good analog performance in the ADC’s and suchlike. I wonder if this Air part is nearly as good.

    For hobbyists and makers, I think the STM32F103 etc., and the bluepill, have gotten way less interesting with the availability of the RP2040 and the ESP32 series, which are more powerful while being just as cheap. I wonder if Air will do a RISC-V series like the GD32VF parts.

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