Texas Instruments MSP430 Value Line Sensing MCUs Sell for 25 Cents and Up

Texas Instruments MSP430 16-bit mixed signal microcontroller has been around since at least 2004, and the last time I played with the MCU was with eZ430-Chronos wireless watch development kit in 2011. Over the years, the company has added more parts to  its MSP430 MCU portfolio, and they recently added two new MSP430 Value Line Sensing MCUs that offer up to 25 functions (timers, I/Os, reset controller, EEPROM…) for as low as 25 cents, as well as a new MSP430FR2433 LaunchPad development kit . MSP430FR2000 and MSP430FR2100 MCUs have the same features set, except for the memory (512 vs 1024 bytes): 16-Bit RISC Architecture up to 16 MHz Memory / Storage MSP430FR2000 (new) – 0.5KB of Program Ferroelectric RAM (FRAM) + 512 Bytes of RAM MSP430FR2100 (new) – 1KB of Program FRAM + 512 Bytes of RAM MSP430FR2111 – 3.75KB of Program FRAM + 1KB of RAM MSP430FR2110 –  2KB of Program FRAM + 1KB of RAM Supply Voltage Range – 1.8 V to 3.6 V Low-Power Modes (at 3 V) Active …

TI Innovator Hub Connects MSP432 LaunchPad Board to TI Graphing Calculators

I remember when I was in high school we all had those TI calculators to cheat enhance our chances of passing exams, but Texas Instruments has now launched what it calls TI-Innovator Hub based on a MSP432 LaunchPad board that connects to some of their graphing calculators and allows student to program and control external hardware through their calculators. Innovator Hub hardware specifications: MSP-EXP432P401-ET TI LaunchPad Board 3x input ports, 3x output ports, I²C port Breadboard connector with 20 labeled pins USB Mini USB Port (DATA port for connection to a TI graphing calculator, or a computer running TI-Nspire CX software) Micro-USB port (POWER port to connect to external power source) Misc – Red LED, RGB LED, Light Brightness Sensor, and speaker Enclosure The hub can then be programmed using TI-84 Plus CE (TI Basic language) or TI-Nspire CX (Lua language) graphing calculators. It’s a bit like playing with Arduino board, but instead of using a computer for programming, you …

Texas Instruments Introduces SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000 BoosterPack

Texas Instrument launched SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000 in Q1 2012 in order to bring WiFi connectivity to any device including 8-bit or 16-bit MCU, as CC3300 internally handled all networking tasks, and exchange data with the MCU via an SPI interface. This Wi-Fi processor allows to use Wi-Fi for data transmission for the Internet of Things, and offers much better battery than other system relying on software to handle network traffic. Today, the company has just announced SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000 BoosterPack, a low cost evaluation platform that works with both MSP430 and Tiva C Series LaunchPad evaluation kits, and sells for $35. SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000 BoosterPack features and benefits as seen in the press release: SmartConfig technology: One-step Wi-Fi configuration using smartphones, tablets or PCs Easy network setup for display-less (headless) devices Simultaneous multiple device provisioning iOS, Android and Java sample applications available Royalty-free software Flexible memory size – Small memory foot print of CC3000 module for easy integration with low-cost MCUs such …

Texas Instruments Announces Ultra-Low Power MSP430 “Wolverine” MCU Series

Texas Instruments announced a new series of its MSP430 MCUs codenamed “Wolverine” for its aggressive power-saving technology. The company claims this ultra-low-power MSP430 microcontroller platform offers at least 50 percent less power consumption than any other micro-controller in the industry with 360 nA RTC mode and less than 100 µA/MHz active power consumption. Since typical battery powered applications spend as much as 99.9 percent of their time in standby mode, Wolverine MCUs power consumption of 360 nA in standby mode would more than double the battery life. Here are the key power savings techniques and technology using the the Wolverine MCU (MSP430FR58xx): Ultra low leakage (ULL) process technology. TI developed ULL technology that offers a 10x improvement in leakage and optimized mixed signal capabilities. Power reduction are also achieved thanks to an improved 130 nm process technology and more than 30 power-optimized analog and digital components. Unified FRAM (Ferroelectric Random Access Memory). Taking advantage of FRAM  low power memory, “Wolverine”-based …

Cymbet EnerChip Solid State Batteries and Energy Harvesting Evaluation Kits

Cymbet has developed rechargeable solid state batteries called EnerChip for Embedded Energy, Power Backup and Energy Harvesting. Applications include backing up Real Time Clocks (RTC), Micro-controllers (MCU) and SRAM devices. The company says “EnerChips are ideal for energy harvesting powered devices such as wireless sensors, medical devices, data loggers and remote location tracking equipment.” Those chipsets aim at replacing batteries such as CR2032 batteries that you can find in watches, calculators and other low power devices. The company emphasized three key benefits of such “batteries”: EnerChips are more than 10x smaller than non-rechargeable coin cell batteries EnerChips last 3x longer than conventional coin cell batteries EnerChips are less expensive to use than conventional coin cell batteries or super caps. The price starts at 20 US cents in volume quantities. You can watch the promotion video below for an overview of those chips. Cymbet shows a lot of mobile phones in their video, but I very doubt this can be used in such …

TI SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000 Brings WiFi Connectivity to All Devices

Yesterday, Texas Instruments unveiled the SimpleLink product family, a portfolio of wireless connectivity technologies for low-power, low-cost embedded applications, which includes self-contained wireless processors supporting Wi-Fi, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, and ANT. The most noticeable product is the SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000, a self-contained 802.11 (WiFi) network processor, that can be added to any embedded application and provide WiFi connectivity to the Internet of Things. With this solution, you can add WiFi to any device, even those powered by MCUs without operating systems such as dishwashers, toasters, refrigerators, thermostats, and factory automation equipment. I wish they’ll make new version of the MSP430 Chronos Wireless Watch with WiFi connectivity, this would remove the need for the RF Dongle. This solution features TCP, UDP and IP software stacks in the chip, it consumes 0.5% of the resources as compared to traditional Wi-Fi and only requires 6KB Flash and 3KB RAM. The company claims it can be ported to a new MCU within hoursthanks to its standard …

Embedded Systems Conference Boston 2011 Sessions Schedule

ESC Boston 2011 will take place on the 26-29 September 2011, four days of hands-on training, educational sessions and an interactive exhibit hall. There are 5 programs during the event: ESC Boston – Embedded software development tutorials for Android, Linux, microprocessors, QA, C programming, etc… DesignCon East – Hardware tutorials, e.g. SDRAM debugging, hardware encryption… DesignMED – Embedded systems development for embedded medical devices. Designing with LEDs! – LED hardware and drivers. DesignDays – Embedded systems sessions mainly presented by semiconductor companies and hands-on tutorials on specific platforms such as Beagleboard or TI MSP430 Chronos Wireless Watch. There are simply too many sessions (over 170) to list them all here. So I’ll selected a few among ESC Boston and DesignDays that look particularly interesting: Android Jump Start (Monday 26 – 8:00 – 17:00) by William Gatliff (Consultant, Freelance) and Karim Yaghmour (CEO, Opersys Inc.) . The features that make Android a great cell phone operating system can also make it a great OS …

Texas Instruments TRF7970A NFC Transceiver

Texas Instruments has introduced the TRF7970A NFC Transceiver ” speeds designs with easy-to-configure software that helps developers bring peer-to-peer, ultra-low-power capabilities to more applications”. Here’s an excerpt from the press release: Raising the standard for ultra-low-power near field communication (NFC) devices, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced the industry’s lowest power contactless short-range communication transceiver. Ideal for infrastructure devices, the new TRF7970A extends battery life up to 2 times longer than competitive products, as it provides eight selectable power modes ranging from <1 uA in power-down mode to 120 mA in full-power mode. The transceiver comes with easy-to-configure software to help developers get started quickly. Royalty-free stacks are compatible across a broad range of ultra-low-power MSP microcontrollers. Additionally, developers are able to directly access all control registers, allowing for easy fine-tuning of various parameters for the highest performance in every application. You can also read the complete TRF7970A press release on TI News website. Here are some features …