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Low-power MCUs claim to reduce BOM, product size

Posted: 01 Sep 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Texas Instruments? MCU? LCD controller? FRAM? transceiver?

Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced 46 ultra-low-power MSP430 FRAM microcontrollers (MCUs) with more memory, features and integration to allow developers to cut power consumption, BOM and product size. The MSP430FR69x MCUs are scalable up to 128KB non-volatile FRAM memory and include smart analogue integration such as an extended scan interface (ESI) and a differential input ADC that consumes as little as 140uA at 200KSPS.

Developers can also leverage the integrated 320-segment LCD controller to easily add a display to their products and a 256bit advanced encryption standard (AES) hardware accelerator to increase security of data transmissions. This integration not only reduces overall power consumption, it minimises product size by eliminating redundant components in systems.

TI's focus on optimising its MSP430FR69x MCUs for ultra-low-power and high integration yields MCUs with the lowest active, standby and peripheral power in the industry. Unbeatable write speeds of MSP430FR69x FRAM MCUs and 10 billion times more write-erase cycles than flash solutions results in memory that can reduce power, increase data accuracy over time, and even extend product lifetime. FRAM offers unmatched memory flexibility, does not require pre-erasure of segments and can be accessed at the bit-level, enabling constant on-the-fly data logging and faster, simpler wireless firmware updates.


The integrated ESI module, differential ADC and LCD controller make MSP430FR69x MCUs ideal for smart flow metering designs for water, gas and heat. Adding TI's complementary SimpleLink Sub-1GHz CC1120 transceiver, SimpleLink WiFi CC3100 wireless network processor or Wireless M-Bus connectivity solutions can easily connect MSP430FR69x-based flow meter design to the grid. Power-conscious developers can also include TI's TPS61220 boost converter to optimise battery-powered systems. TI's FlowESI GUI eases sensor setup in software and EnergyTrace++ technology enables developers to debug power consumption at a function- and peripheral-level like never before. These resources help developers optimise their metering designs and speed time-to-market. Get flow metering designs started quicker with three comprehensive TI Designs based on MSP430FR69x MCUs that leverage the integrated extended scan interface module. These complete reference designs for water meters using inductive-capacitive (LC), giant magneto-resistive (GMR) or optical sensors include complete block diagrams, user guides, BOM, design files and test reports.

The MSP430FR69x MCUs promise to ease development with pin-to-pin compatibility and a scalable portfolio from 64-128KB FRAM and more features within TI's FRAM MCU platform. The devices also claim to offer security advantages, including a 256bit AES accelerator and an IP encapsulation module to protect data transmissions and IP, on MSP430FR69x MCUs. Fast write speeds and low peak currents provide security advantages for generating new security keys and the saving state information in the event of power loss. Additionally, the MCUs break down the barriers associated with traditional MCU memory technologies with FRAM's unbeatable write energy, write speed, endurance and flexibility.

MSP430FR69x MCUs are immediately available in production quantities for $4.50 in 1K units. Start designing with the design kit MSP-FET430U100D for $175 on TI's eStore or from authorised distributors. The EVM430-FR6989 flow meter evaluation kit will be available in October for $300.

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