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TI rolls out massive support for its MSP430 MCUs

Posted: 27 May 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Texas Instruments? MCU? GUI? software library? sensor?

Texas Instruments recently announced a new software library, sensor tuning GUI, design collateral and support for additional microcontrollers (MCU) to ease development of capacitive touch solutions. TI's MSP430 MCUs boast ultra-low power operation at less than 1?A average current per button and can be used in capacitive touch button, slider, wheel and proximity applications for portable electronics and household appliances.

The open source MSP430 Capacitive Touch Software Library now allows developers to use the recently announced MSP430G2xx5 Value Line devices and Wolverine MSP430FR58xx/FR59xx devices for button, slider, wheel and proximity capacitive touch applications. These new devices provide engineers with more options for low-power applications with capacitive touch.

The MSP430 Capacitive Touch Pro graphical user interface (GUI) is a new PC-based tool that enables designers to evaluate, diagnose and tune capacitive touch button, slider and wheel designs in real time. This tool charts raw capacitive data from up to ten sensors so developers can visually pinpoint and perform factor analysis easier, resulting in a faster debugging, testing and time-to-market. It features user-configurable ranging, recording and printing options.

The company's MSP430 Capacitive Touch Power Designer GUI and application note simulates the estimated average current draw for capacitive touch systems using select MSP430 MCUs, while users adjust system parameters such as operating voltage, frequency, and number of button and gate times.

TI's engineers have also created several comprehensive design guides to help developers learn sensor design techniques, reduce power consumption, and improve response times for button, sliders and wheel designs. The new Capacitive Touch Sensing, MSP430 Button Gate Time Optimisation and Tuning Guide shows developers how to optimise button performance for reduced power consumption, improved response times and scalability to include more buttons. The Capacitive Touch Sensing, MSP430 Slider and Wheel Tuning Guide helps developers lay out sliders and wheels using multiple electrodes and optimise software to provide the most linear epresentation of raw capacitive data. The Capacitive Touch Sensing, Sensor Design Guide exposes developers to design considerations and best practice s for capacitive touch hardware design including schematics, mechanicals and layout.

In addition, ultra-low power MSP430 MCUs support capacitive touch buttons, sliders and wheel functionalities on TI's haptic technology evaluation kits. The DRV2605 haptic driver evaluation module is a complete demo and evaluation platform that provides tactile feedback through touch-based interfaces. The vibrations produced by these devices provide a new, deeply enhanced user experience and unparalleled value.

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