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TI touts 16-bit MCUs for ultra-low power apps

Posted: 13 Dec 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microcontrollers  ultra-low-power  analogue integration 


Texas Instruments Inc. has announced the availability of five new families of MSP430F2xx high-performance microcontrollers, the industry's lowest-power 16-bit general purpose microcontrollers. The new microcontrollers provide a direct upgrade path for corresponding devices in TI's MSP430F1xx generation of ultra-low-power MCUs, easing development and offering complete software and pin compatibility while delivering twice the performance, twice the battery life, and increased memory. MSP430F2xx MCUs enable developers of meters, sensors, industrial control systems, handheld instruments and a host of other embedded systems to extend the performance and lifetime of their products with minimal redesign, says the company.

With a high level of analogue integration, TI's MSP430F2xx MCU architecture is designed for the requirements of a new generation of control systems. The devices integrate on-chip memories of up to 120KB, and a 20-bit address word increases total addressable memory to 1MB without paging, supporting the development of more complex programs. A wide range of analogue and digital peripheral options enable enhanced features in end products while reducing system costs and power consumption. The MCUs have a wide operating voltage range of 1.8 to 3.6 volts and a flexible clocking architecture that allows the designer to implement their select processing speed versus operating voltage. Battery life and system cost are further optimised by achieving the full processor speed of 16-MHz, at 3.3V, giving margin for the power supply design requirements.

The five new MCU families fulfill TI's commitment to provide a complete line of F2xx upgrades to its MSP430 customers. On-chip options available among the devices include program memories up to 120KB, three-channel direct memory access, eight-channel 12-bit analogue-to-digital converters and two-channel 12-bit digital-to-analogue converters. A universal serial communications interface (UCSI) saves development time with a flexible implementation of standards that include I²C, SPI, IrDA and UART.

With up to 120 kilobytes of Flash and 8 kbytes of RAM, the MSP430F241x and MSP430F261x are targeted for systems needing extensive processing capability, while the MSP430F24x and MSP430F23x are more general purpose devices. Among the devices, the MSP430F2418 and MSP430F2618 are optimised for operation in low-power ZigBee networks, while the MSP430F2410 targets applications such as IEEE 802.15.4 wireless networks and automatic meter reading.

"The release of the new MSP430F2xx MCU products offers more than upgrades to higher performance, lower power and more design flexibility to our MSP430 customers," said Kevin Belnap, MSP430 product marketing manager. "It also opens a new range of application possibilities for portable embedded control systems that require more memory as well as other systems that can benefit from the high level of analogue integration."

All five families are available now in volume quantities from TI and TI authorised distributors. Evaluation tools are also available now for all these devices.

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