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

November 13th, 2017 2 comments

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 .

Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

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 Mode: 120 µA/MHz
    • Standby
      • LPM3.5 With VLO: 1 µA
      • Real-Time Clock (RTC) Counter (LPM3.5 With 32768-Hz Crystal): 1 µA
    • Shutdown (LPM4.5): 34 nA Without SVS
  • Analog
    • 8-Channel 10-Bit Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) with integrated temperature sensor, internal 1.5-V Reference, sample-and-hold 200 ksps
    • Enhanced Comparator (eCOMP) with integrated 6-Bit DAC as Reference Voltage
  • Digital Peripherals
    • 1x 16-Bit Timer With Three Capture/Compare Registers (Timer_B3)
    • 1x 16-Bit Counter-Only RTC Counter
    • 16-Bit Cyclic Redundancy Checker (CRC)
  • Serial Communications – Enhanced USCI A (eUSCI_A) Supports UART, IrDA, and SPI
  • Clock System (CS)
    • On-Chip 32-kHz RC Oscillator (REFO)
    • On-Chip 16-MHz Digitally Controlled Oscillator (DCO) With Frequency-Locked Loop (FLL)
    • On-Chip Very-Low-Frequency 10-kHz Oscillator (VLO)
    • On-Chip High-Frequency Modulation Oscillator (MODOSC)
    • External 32-kHz Crystal Oscillator (LFXT)
    • Programmable MCLK Prescalar of 1 to 128
    • SMCLK Derived From MCLK With Programmable Prescalar of 1, 2, 4, or 8
  • General Input/Output and Pin Functionality
    • 12x I/Os on 16-Pin Package
    • 8x Interrupt Pins (4 Pins of P1 and 4 Pins of P2) Can Wake MCU From LPMs
    • All I/Os are Capacitive Touch I/Os
  • Package Options – 16-Pin TSSOP (PW16); 24-pin VQFN (RLL)

The MCUs can be programmed with free development tools such as Code Composer Studio IDE or Cloud IDE, as well as third party solutions like IAR Embedded Workbench Kickstart. TI has also launched a new MSP430FR2433 LaunchPad development kit based on MSP430FR2433 also part of MSP430 Value Line Sensing MCUs, but with more memory (4KB SRAM) and storage (16KB FRAM).

Click to Enlarge

The board includes EnergyTrace++ Technology available for ultra-low-power debugging, 20-pin LaunchPad kit standard leveraging the BoosterPack ecosystem, an on-board eZ-FET debug probe, and 2 buttons and 2 LEDs for user interaction.

MSP430FR2000 and MSP430FR2100 sells for respectively $0.29 and $0.39 in 1,000-unit quantities, and the former price drops to 25 cents in higher volumes. MSP430FR2433 LaunchPad development kit (MSP-EXP430FR2433) is sold for $4.30 with coupon code NewMSP430LP until the end of the year, after which the price will be $9.90.

DLP LightCrafter Display 2000 EVM Adds a Pico Projector to BeagleBone Black for $99

August 3rd, 2017 2 comments

Back in 2012, Texas Instruments introduced DLP LightCrafter pico projector evaluation module powered by a TMS320DM365 ARM9 processor @ 300 MHz running embedded Linux, and selling for $599. Since then, we have seen many products including projectors based on DLP technology such as standalone tiny projectors, Windows mini PCs, Android TV boxes, tablets, an even light bulbs. However, so far I can’t remember seeing any easy way to easily integrate DLP projector with the cheap ARM Linux development boards available today.

Texas Instruments has now filled that void with DLP LightCrafter Display 2000 EVM that adds a pico-projector to BeagleBone Black (or Green) based on the new 0.2″ DLP2000 DMD (Digital Mirror Device) chip. The board is comprised of two subsystems:

  • Light engine (top) with the optics, red, green, and blue LEDs, and the 640 × 360 (nHD) DLP2000 DMD configured to deliver around 20 lumens by default (this can be adjusted)
  • Driver board (bottom) with DLPC2607 display controller and DLPA1000 PMIC/LED driver, and headers to connect to BeagleBone Black board

It is recommended to power the EVM with a 5V/3A adapter, but it’s also possible to power it through the host board as  long as it can supply at least 320 mA.

Click to Enlarge

There are then two ways to use the module, either via a host processor, as would be the case if you connect it to a BeagleBone Black board, or without host processor, through a USB to I2C dongle connected to a computer.

When using the BeagleBone Black / Green, you’ll need to install the latest Debian image first, then the board will automatically detect the add-on board using the EEPROM data, and configure the boards with an RGB888 interface for the video data, and I2C for the commands, which can be sent using i2cget & i2cset tools. You’ll find the list of I2C commands in DLPC2607 Software Programmer’s Guide.

The relatively low resolution (640×480) may not be ideal to watch movies, but TI envisions their latest DMD chip to be used for home automation displays, factory 4.0 HMI displays, and in thermostats, Bluetooth speakers, and so on.

DLP LightCrafter Display 2000 EVM, is selling for $99 on TI eStore, while DLP2000 DMD chip is sold for just $20. You’ll find more information on the product pages for the EVM and DMD chip.

Via LinuxGizmos and EETimes

Texas Instruments Announces AMIC110 Sitara Industrial Communication Processor & Development Board

June 9th, 2017 8 comments

Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x SoCs integrate an ARM Cortex A8 processor @ up to 1GHz with a PRU-ICSS for industrial communication, but also include a display controller, an optional PowerVR GPU, and a rich-set of peripherals making it useful for a wide range of applications. The company has now launched AMIC110 Sitara processor with a Cortex A8 core @ 300 MHz, and a PRU-ICSS specifically designed for industrial Ethernet, and fieldbus communication.

Texas Instruments AMIC110 Sitara processor key features and specifications:

  • CPU – ARM Cortex-A8 processor @ up to 300 MHz with NEON, 32+32KB I/D cache, 256KB L2 cache, 176KB boot ROM, 64KB RAM
  • External Memory Interfaces (EMIF) – mDDR(LPDDR), DDR2, DDR3, DDR3L Controller up to 1GB
  • General-Purpose Memory Controller (GPMC) – 8-bit & 16-bit Asynchronous Memory Interface with up to Seven Chip Selects (NAND, NOR, Muxed-NOR, SRAM)
  • 2x programmable Real-Time Unit Subsystem and Industrial Communication Subsystem (PRU-ICSS) supporting  EtherCAT, PROFIBUS, PROFINET, EtherNet/IP, and more (10 communication standards in total)
  • Misc – Power, Reset, and Clock Management (PRCM) Module; Real-Time Clock (RTC)
  • Peripherals
    • Up to 2x USB 2.0 OTG Ports
    • Up to 2x Controller-Area Network (CAN) Ports v 2 Part A & B
    • Up to 2x Multichannel Audio Serial Ports (McASPs)
    • Up to 6x UARTs, up to x3 I2C Master and Slave Interfaces
    • Up to 2x Master and Slave McSPI Serial Interfaces
    • Up to 3x MMC, SD, SDIO Ports
    • Up to 4x  Banks of General-Purpose I/O (GPIO) Pins with 32 GPIO pins per bank
      Up to 3x External DMA Event Inputs that can Also be Used as Interrupt Inputs
    • 8x 32-Bit General-Purpose Timers
    • Watchdog Timer
    • 12-Bit Successive Approximation Register (SAR) ADC
    • DMA controller
  • Device Identification with Electrical Fuse Farm (FuseFarm)
  • Debug Interface Support – JTAG and cJTAG for ARM, PRU-ICSS Debug, supports Device Boundary Scan; supports IEEE 1500
  • Security – Secure Boot
  • Package – 324-Pin S-PBGA-N324 Package (ZCZ Suffix), 0.80-mm Ball Pitch

AMIC110 supports high-level operating systems (HLOS) with  Linux and TI-RTOS available free of charge from TI, but other RTOS are supported by partners. While AMIC110 microprocessor  can work in standalone mode, it may be used in conjunction with TI C2000 MCUs over SPI for “connected drives” (e.g. motors) as shown in the diagram below.

Click to Enlarge

In order to get started and/or evaluate the new processor, Texas Instruments can also provide AMIC110 ICE (Industrial Communication Engine) evaluation board with the following features:

  • SoC – AMIC110 SoC featuring Sitara ARM Cortex-A8 and PRU-ICSS
  • System Memory – 512 MByte DDR3
  • Storage – 8 MByte SPI flash
  • Connectivity – 2x 10/100M industrial Ethernet connectors with external magnetics
  • Communication with optional host processor – 3.3V SPI interface to any host processor such as TI C2000
  • Debugging – 20-pin JTAG header to support all types of external emulator
  • Power Supply – 5-V input supply, single chip power management IC TPS650250 to power entire board and dual DP83822 PHYs
  • Certifications – RoHS and REACH compliant design;  EMC-compliant, industrial temp dual port EtherCAT slave with SPI interface

AMIC110 ICE EVM

Fully documentation with user guides, hardware design files (schematics, PCB layout, Gerber files..), development tools. and software can be downloaded from Technical Documents section of the board’s page.

TI AMIC110 Sitara processor SoC sellers for $6.75 per unit for 1K order, and the development board can be purchase for $195. Visit Texas Instruments AMIC110 product page for further details.

Via LinuxGizmos

MYD-C437x-PRU Development Board Leverages TI Sitara AM437x Programmable Real-time Unit

February 16th, 2017 No comments

MYIR Technologies launched MYC-C437x system-on-module based on TI Sitara AM437X processor, and the corresponding MYD-C437x development board at the end of 2015, but the latter did not make use of the processor’s PRU-ICSS (Programmable Real-Time Unit Subsystem and Industrial Communication SubSystem) block. The company has now released a new version of the baseboard called MYC-C437x-PRU which exposes I/Os pins to leverage the PRU-ICSS and enable implementation of protocols like EtherCAT and Profibus.MYD-C437x-PRU industrial development board specifications:

  • System-on-Module – MYC-C437x module with
    • SoC – Texas Instruments AM437x ARM Cortex A9 processor @ up to 1GHz with PowerVR  SGX530 GPU (AM4378/AM4379 only)
    • System Memory – 256 or 512MB (default) DDR3 SDRAM
    • Storage – 4GB eMMC Flash (reserved 256/512MB Nand Flash design), 16MB QSPI Flash (unpopulated by default), 32KB EEPROM
    • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet PHY
  • Storage – 1x micro SD slot
  • Serial ports – 1x 3-wire RS232 debug serial port, 2x  5-wire RS232 serial port, 1x RS485 with isolation
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x mini USB 2.0 device port
  • Connectivity – 1x Gigabit Ethernet interface, 2x 10/100 Mbps PRU-ICSS Ethernet interfaces
  • Display – 1x 16-bit LCD interface, 1x 24-bit LCD interface, 1x 4-wire resistive touch screen interface
  • Camera – 1x Camera interface (0.5mm pitch 30-pin FPC connectors)
  • Debugging – 20-pin JTAG interface
  • Other Expansion Ports
    • 1x CAN interface with isolation
    • 3x 20-pin expansion connectors (2.0mm pitch) with:
      • 8x ADC
      • 2x SPI, 1x I2C, 2x UART
      • PRU-UART with support for PROFIBUS
      • 2x EnDat, 2x eQEP
      • eHRPWM
  • Misc – 4x Buttons (1x reset, 1x PMIC, 2x user), 1x power LED (red), 3x user LEDs (blue)
  • Power supply – +12V/1.5A (base board)
  • Dimensions – 150mm x 105mm (4-layer PCB)
  • Temperature Range – -40 to 85 Celsius (industrial grade)

The company provides a Linux 4.1.18 BSP for the modules and board, as well as Texas Instruments’ SYS/BIOS v6.45 Real-time Operating System. Note that you can only used one LCD interface at a time, and some of EtherCAT and LCD signals are multiplexed so only one can be used.

You can find some limited hardware & software documentation on the product page, as well as purchase MYD-C4377-PRU development board with TI Sitara AM4377 SoC, 512MB DDR3, and a 4GB eMMC flash for $189. Several modules are also offered with LCD displays, WiFi, and cameras.

TI Innovator Hub Connects MSP432 LaunchPad Board to TI Graphing Calculators

January 13th, 2017 3 comments

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.

TI-Innovator-HubInnovator 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 can use a calculator. TI also provides resources to make it easier for teachers. Some extra accessories are also available include I/O Module Pack with sensors and motors, an ultrasonic ranger module, a breadboard pack, and an external battery.

You can watch the “cool box” & “mind blown” video to see what students think about it.

I could not find pricing information. You’ll find a few more details on TI Innovator Hub product page.

Via Electronics Weekly.

M2.COM is a Standard for IoT Sensors Based on M.2 Form Factor

March 25th, 2016 No comments

The IoT ecosystem really feels like a jungle now, not because of a lack of standards, but because everybody thinks about doing their own, so we’ve ended up with a wide range of communication protocols, initiatives, and consortia, and it will take some time until the winners and losers are sorted out. One the of the latest standard is M2.COM platform form factor for sensors that “adopts the standardized M.2 form factor and is defined as an evolutionary module that combines general wireless connectivity with additional built-in computing ability powered by MCU”.

M2.COM_ArchitectureM2.COM architecture diagram above describes both software and hardware requirements, but the specifications themselves only define the form factor, as well as mechanical and electrical characteristics:

  • Consistent with M.2 standard
    • Module size: 22 mm x 30 mm
    • PCB thickness: 0.8 mm ± 10%
    • Pin count: 75 pins
    • Module input voltage: 3.3V DC-in
    • Connector mating force: 30N Maximum
    • Connector current rating: 0.5A / Power contact
    • Connector operation temperature range: -45°C to +85°C
  • Suitable pin definitions for IoT solution
    • USB – A common interface for extending storage
    • SDIO – Another common interface for extending storage through SD/MMC
    • I2C – The most popular interface for sensors. Ex: pressure sensor, temperature sensor, moisture sensor and lightning sensor
    • I2S – Supports audio codec for broadcasting and playing audio through external speakers
    • UART – A commonly used protocol for device control, such as for motor and electric control units
    • GPIO – Basic I/O control, such as indicating lights, alarm and buzzer
    • SPI – Supports LCM to display values collected from the sensor or transmitted by an external device
    • ADC – Common pins of GPIO, the ADC transforms the analog signal from the sensor into a digital signal so that data can be readable and meaningful to the data analyzer

M2.COM_Architecture_2

So the idea is basically to be able to exchange one M2.COM compliant module with another one with better features or a lower cost as needed. You can download the specifications 1.0, design guide, and mechanical information on M2.COM website.

Companies behind the initiative include ARM, Advantech, Bosch, Texas Instruments, and Sensirion. Two products compliant with the standard are currently available: Advantech WISE-1520 M2.COM module and the corresponding WISE-DB1500 carrier board / development board using pico-ITX form factor (100 x 72 mm).

M2COM_module

Advantech M2.COM Module and Carrier Board

WISE-1520 M2.COM module specifications:

  • SoC – Texas Instruments CC3200MOD Cortex-M4 MCU with 256KB RAM, 1MB flash
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4 GHz up to 16Mbps (UDP)
  • I/O interfaces – 1x 4-wire UART, 1x I2C, 2 GPIOs, 2x PWM, 1x SPI, 2x ADC as per the specs (but no USB)
  • Debug Port – 1x developer and debug port.
  • Power – 3.3V
  • Dimensions – 30 x 22 mm – M.2 type 2230-D3-E form factor
  • Weight – 3 grams

The module runs TI RTOS or ARM mbed OS, and supports multiple IoT communication protocols including LWM2M, OSGI, AllJoyn and MQTT. Software documentation and SDK do not appear to be available publicly.

The development board features a M.2 socket and brings out an SD card slots, expansion headers, a RS-232/422/485 DB9 connector, and a micro USB OTG port, as well as an on-board  humidity & temperature sensor.

You can find out more about Advantech solution on M2.COM product page.

Via Embedded.com

Texas Instruments 4K DLP Chip Should Bring Affordable 4K Projectors to the Home, Office and School

January 14th, 2016 4 comments

4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) is slowly with the price of 4K television going down, 4K media players flooding the market starting at $40, and 4K content appearing online via services like Netflix and over the air with DVB-S2. Thanks to the latest Texas Instruments DLP 0.67″ digital micromirror device (DMD), a cost down version of the 1.38″ DMD used in around 80% of cinemas worldwide, we could start seeing affordable 4K projectors in the second half of 2016.

TI_4K_DLPThe chip includes 4 millions tiny mirrors that quickly switch to generate the ~8 millions pixels required by a 3840×2160 display, and should be found in projectors capable of delivering up to 5,000 lumens. The DLP chip can be used in home theaters, but also in the office and at school for presentations or courses were text needs to be easily readable.

The solutions should delivery 100″+ displays with sharp images and text, as well as good color accuracy. Backlight can be achieved with LEDs, lamps, laser, or laser phosphor. Other details have not been published so far, but you can register to be informed once more infor is released on TI 4K DLP page. The new chip should launch in Spring 2016. In the meantime, you can watch an impressive demo with the device filmed at CES 2016.

Texas Instruments claims it will allow affordable 4K projectors, but did not mention any pricing. For reference, Optoma HD141X, a popular 1080p video projector, currently sells for around $550 on Amazon, so I’m assuming an affordable 4K projector could cost between $1,000 and $2,000, possibly in the higher range at the beginning.

Via ARMDevices.net

Texas Instruments MSP432 LaunchPad Development Board Sells for $4.32 (Promo)

January 11th, 2016 7 comments

Texas Instruments has started the year by offering a deal on their 32-bit MSP432 LaunchPad Development Kit, dropping the cost from $12.99 to $4.32 for a limited time with coupon code [email protected]

MSP432P401R_LaunchPad

MSP432 Launchpad’s key features:

  • MCU – Texas Instruments MSP432P401R ARM Cortex M4F MCU @ 48 MHz with FPU and DSP, 256KB flash, 64KB RAM
  • Expansion – 40 pin BoosterPack Connector, and support for 20-pin BoosterPacks
  • Misc – 2 buttons and 2 LEDs for user interaction
  • Debugging – Back-channel UART via USB to PC, Onboard XDS-110ET emulator featuring EnergyTrace+ Technology
  • Power – Micro USB connector

The kit includes the board, micro USB cable and a quick start guide. There’s plenty of technical documentation for the board, although for some unknown reasons,  I can’t download any PDF documents from TI website tonight.

MSP432 LaunchPad Discount

MSP432 LaunchPad Discount (Click to Enlarge)

The coupon is still working, but free shipping on TI eStore seems to be a thing of the past, as the total price adds $7 for shipping and handling to the US, and it goes up to $19 to countries in Asia.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.