MSP430 Value Line LaunchPad Development Kit

MSP430 Value Line LaunchPad Development Kit
Adrian Fernandez
MSP430 Microcontrollers
Texas Instruments
MSP430 Value Line
LaunchPad Development Kit
As applications continue to advance, 8-bit microcontrollers are struggling to meet the growing
As the number of competitors grow and the time for taking products to market shrinks, the
microcontroller (MCU) industry is being stretched by two opposing, but equally strong vectors.
The growing demand for higher performance and ultra-low power functionality is matched
only by an aggressive need for lower and lower price points. This is especially clear in low-
demand for higher performance and ultra-low
cost applications that utilize 8-bit MCUs. To increase performance without breaking the bank,
power to support evolving product designs.
developers of low-cost 8-bit MCUs must migrate to higher performance 16-bit MCUs that are
Texas Instruments introduced the affordable
available at affordable price points.
16-bit MSP430™ MCU Value Line to meet the
In high volume and quick turnover markets such as consumer and personal electronics,
changing market dynamics and requirements
the need for a highly differentiated MCU, while maintaining aggressive price points, is a
faced by typical low-cost 8-bit MCU developers. Taking the next step in providing a low-cost
solution to the shortcomings of 8-bit MCUs, TI
created the MSP430 MCU Value Line LaunchPad
constant struggle. For instance, the market for 3D glasses has exploded in the recent months,
both on the big and small screen. As this market trend moves up and to the right, developers
are hard at work in creating technological solutions that provide a unique and immersive
experience while remaining affordable. By providing more affordable solutions, developers
hope to minimize the risks and barriers associated with new and fast moving markets.
development kit to jump start application designs
For many, this barrier to success is prohibited by a limited MCU core. Many developers
and provide a low-cost tool for developers of all
of 8-bit MCUs have completely exhausted the full capabilities of their MCU due to limited
experience levels. This overview will provide an
data throughput and inefficient interfacing with higher resolution analog and digital
introduction to the features and functionality of
peripherals. To enable increased functionality and improve feature sets of existing projects,
LaunchPad as well as everything included in the
developers must migrate to higher performance 16-bit MCUs.
$4.30 kit.
The MSP430 MCU Value Line series provides a migration path for many of these
constrained 8-bit MCU developers. At no additional cost, the affordable MSP430 MCU Value
Line devices offer a 16-bit architecture, higher precision timers and improved peripheral
integration and interfacing, enabling improved performance and lower power consumption.
The implementation of 16-bit MCUs enable up to 10 times improved performance and
10 times lower power when compared to many low-cost 8-bit applications. Currently, the
MSP430 MCU Value Line series offers 27 ultra-low power 16-bit devices that offer
varying levels of analog integration, communication modules and package types. At 100K
unit volumes, MSP430 MCU Value Line devices start at just $0.25 USD, ensuring that
Texas Instruments
developers do not have to sacrifice price for improved performance. Additionally, the MSP430 MCU
Value Line series will continue to grow to more than 100 devices through the second half of 2011.
This roadmap will introduce higher memory sizes, more package options and additional integrated analog
and digital peripherals.
To make the transition from 8- to 16-bit MCUs more seamless, Texas Instruments (TI) listened to the
requirements of developers and created the new MSP430 MCU Value Line LaunchPad development kit.
Furthering the commitment to add performance and value to MCU designs with the MSP430 MCU Value
Line, TI introduced LaunchPad to lower the barrier of entry for developers new to 16-bit architectures, or
those new to MCU design, in general. The LaunchPad kit is TI’s simple, yet thorough, introduction to 16-bit
MCU development, offering all of the hardware and software a developer needs to get started for just $4.30
USD. Within minutes of opening the LaunchPad kit, users can begin interfacing with push buttons, LEDs
and the on-chip peripherals of the MSP430 MCU Value Line devices. See Figure 1 below:
Figure 1.
For just $4.30, the LaunchPad kit includes a development board with an integrated USB-powered flash
emulation tool for programming and debugging any of the existing MSP430 MCU Value Line devices. Any
MSP430G2xx MCU in a DIP package can be dropped into the DIP target socket of LaunchPad, which allows
easy evaluation of any MSP430 MCU Value Line device. The flexible target socket allows developers to
remove their freshly programmed and debugged MSP430G2xx MCU to be plugged into a custom
breadboard or PCB so that customers are not constrained to the form factor of the LaunchPad board.
Alternatively, developers can use LaunchPad as a standalone system, by leaving the MSP430G2xx device
plugged into the board to leverage on-board and programmable push buttons and LEDs. Additionally, every
pin of the MSP430G2xx device is fully accessible, allowing easy interfacing of external components or
custom daughter cards.
MSP430 Value Line LaunchPad Development Kit
June 2010
Texas Instruments 3
Also provided in the kit are free, downloadable software compilers and debuggers including TI’s own
eclipse-based Code Composer Studio™ version 4 and IAR Embedded Workbench Kickstart. These
independent development environments (IDEs) are full featured and are completely compatible with
LaunchPad and the MSP430 MCU Value Line devices available today. This complements the hardware
features of the LaunchPad board by providing a complete software component as well. Using either IDE,
users can then leverage MSP430 MCU code examples, open source projects and other free online
resources, which can be accessed on LaunchPad’s Wiki page,
The unlimited access to the LaunchPad Wiki promotes collaboration and simple sharing of solutions and
ideas, making LaunchPad a complete development environment. This active and growing online community
supplements the hardware and software components of the LaunchPad package and provides instant
support, projects and helpful hints that will be shared through the Wiki pages and E2E™ forums.
To fully benefit from 16-bit architecture and ultra-low power performance, the MSP430 MCU Value Line
series and LaunchPad development kit offers a complete and simple introduction to quicken developers’
time to market. By providing 16-bit performance at 8-bit price points, and complete development tools for
just $4.30, TI would like to welcome both new and experienced users to the world of high performance
and affordable MCU development.
Figure 2. $4.30 LaunchPad kit offers the hardware and software needed to start developing applications, and is
backed by an active online community to quicken time to market.
MSP430 Value Line LaunchPad Development Kit
June 2010
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