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Outfitting low-power MCUs with FRAM, on-chip LCD support

Posted: 08 Oct 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:FRAM  microcontrollers  Texas Instruments 

Texas Instruments released its lowest-power microcontrollers to help developers integrate non-volatile FRAM memory and on-chip LCD support into a broader range of applications.

The new MSP430FR4x/FR2x MCUs has 60 capacitive-touch-enabled general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins so developers can create flexible ultra-low-power products for home automation systems, household appliances, remote controls, energy harvesting applications and many more.

The company also introduced LaunchPad, a rapid prototyping kit that integrates the new MSP430FR4x MCU. The kit includes a segmented LCD driver with software-configurable LCD pins to enable quick and easy hardware layout and an integrated charge pump that allows the LCD contrast level to be maintained even when the MCU is in low-power modes. The LCD controller can drive up to 256 segments to support large displays used in panel meters and portable health and fitness equipment..

Low-power MCU

TI simplifies low-power microcontroller development with non-volatile FRAM, flexible on-chip LCD controller and abundant I/O. (Source: TI)

FRAM MCUs offer matchless write speeds, combined with 10 billion times more write- cycles than traditional non-volatile memory solutions, which, in turn, increases the amount of data that can be collected.

In addition, FRAM simplifies code development because it does not require pre-erasure of segments and can be accessed at the bit-level, enabling constant on-the-fly data logging with zero extra power. FRAM can also reduce manufacturing costs by decreasing programming times on an assembly line.

MSP430FR4x MCUs come in 48-pin to 64-pin devices in LQFP and TSSOP package options. The MCUs are now sampling, with production quantities due in November, starting at $1.65. The LaunchPad is available at $13.99.

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