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TI announces massive expansion of MSP430 MCU line

Posted: 05 Sep 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:texas instruments? ti? msp430? power microcontroller platform? mcu?

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) disclosed that they plan to add over 50 new devices to its MSP430 ultra-low power microcontroller (MCU) platform in the next 18 months.

According to the press release, the MSP430 device portfolio expansion answers growing market demands, as industry analysts predict that ultra-low power will continue to be a major growth driver in the MCU market for industrial, medical and consumer products. "Portable consumer and industrial applications continue to become more sophisticated, and their power requirements are outpacing by far the progress made in battery capacity," said Max Baron, principal analyst at In-Stat in a statement.

The first devices introduced was TI's smallest, lowest power MCUs everthe MSP430F20xx MCU series, which offers a tiny 14-pin, 4-by-4mm footprint and 16MIPS of 16bit performance. "At only 4-by-4mm, the MSP430F20xx is one of the smallest MCUs available and runs at 16bits for the price of other 8bit MCUs. It packs 16 MIPS and less than 1?A standby with the choice of performance analog converters," said Mark Buccini, TI's advanced embedded controls director of marketing.

The MSP430F20xx MCUs are the company's first devices based on the recently announced F2xx architecture that operates with a cool active current of 200?A per MIPS. A flexible clock system allows operation up to 16MHz with no external components using an improved digitally controlled oscillator (DCO) that is fully programmable and stable over temperature and voltage. The ability to switch from standby to a fully synchronized 16MIPS active mode in less than ?s allows interrupt event-driven programming that extends time in power-saving modes and the use of smaller, lower cost batteries. The 14-pin footprint combined with a sub-1micro-amp standby current provides benefits in space constrained applications such as fire and motion detectors for which OEMs may choose to reduce cost and liability with factory-installed, sealed batteries that last over ten years.

All F20xx devices offer in-system programmable flash for greater design flexibility, field upgrades and elimination of external EEPROMs. To further reduce system cost, all 10 GPIO pins include programmable pull-up/pull-down resistors, eliminating external components. A zero-power brown-out reset (BOR) function and an enhanced watchdog timer enhance reliability. All the failsafe features of F2xx devices are available during all modes of operation with no power penalty.

Meanwhile, the MSP430F20x2 and MSP430F20x3 MCUs include a universal serial interface (USI) that can be configured for either I?C or SPI master or slave communication. To accelerate F20xx MCU design-in, designers can begin development with TI's existing MSP430 USB or Parallel Port JTAG pods that support the new Spy Bi-Wire interface and provide designers with world-class emulation from day one.

Following the MSP430F20xx MCU series, TI will introduce in Q4 2005 the first in a family of enhanced MSP43FG46xx processors with an extended 1MB memory model, allowing access to 16 times more memory compared to the 64KB available today. Extended instructions designed for the large memory allow optimal high-level code density with full backward compatibility, making it possible to develop sophisticated real-time applications completely in modular C libraries.

The first enhanced device from the MSP430FG46xx generationthe FG4619 MCUwill incorporate 120KB of embedded flash memory and a complete signal chain-on-chip (SCoC). Later in 2006, TI's MCU expansion will continue with new families of devices with increased MIPS, 5V and 125C capabilities, USB 2.0, low voltage operation and wireless connectivity.

The MSP430F20x3 MCUs have begun sampling to high volume customers with full production scheduled in Q4 2005. The MSP430F20x1 and MSP430F20x2 MCUs will sample Q4 2005 with production scheduled in early 2006.

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