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TI Launches New Ultra-Low Power MCUs

Texas Instruments announced an expansion of the MSP430 ultra-low power microcontroller (MCU) platform with plans to add over 50 new devices in the next 18 months. The first devices introduce TIs smallest, lowest power MCUs ever the MSP430F20xx MCU series which offers a 14-pin, 4x4mm footprint and 16 MIPS of 16-bit performance with pricing starting at $0.49 (100ku) for the MSP430F2001 MCU.

New MSP430F20xx MCUs are TIs first devices based on the recently announced F2xx architecture that operates with a cool active current of 200 micro-amps per MIPS. A flexible clock system allows operation up to 16 MHz with no external components using an improved digitally controlled oscillator (DCO) that is fully programmable and stable over temperature and voltage. The ability to switch from standby to a fully synchronized 16 MIPS active mode in less than one micro-second allows interrupt event-driven programming that extends time in power-saving modes and the use of smaller, lower cost batteries. The 14-pin footprint combined with a sub-1micro-amp standby current provides benefits in space constrained applications such as fire and motion detectors for which OEMs may choose to reduce cost and liability with factory-installed, sealed batteries that last over ten years.

All F20xx devices offer in-system programmable flash for greater design flexibility, field upgrades and elimination of external EEPROMs. 128B of RAM, when combined with a full featured CPU, allows full development in C. To further reduce system cost, all 10 GPIO pins include programmable pull-up/pull-down resistors eliminating external components. A zero-power brown-out reset (BOR) function and an enhanced watchdog timer enhance reliability. All the failsafe features of F2xx devices are available during all modes of operation with no power penalty.

The MSP430F20x2 and MSP430F20x3 MCUs include a universal serial interface (USI) that can be configured for either I2C or SPI master or slave communication. To accelerate F20xx MCU design-in, designers can begin development with TIs existing MSP430 USB or Parallel Port JTAG pods that support the new Spy Bi-Wire interface and provide designers with world-class emulation from day one. Beginning in Q4 2005, customer can also purchase the MSP-FET430U14, which includes a new USB-based, JTAG interface target board and a complete integrated development environment including a debugger, assembler/linker and C-complier.

Following the MSP430F20xx MCU series, TI will introduce in Q4 2005 the first in a family of enhanced MSP43FG46xx processors with an extended 1MB memory model, allowing access to 16 times more memory compared to the 64kB available today. Extended instructions designed for the large memory allow optimal high-level code density with full backward compatibility, making it possible to develop very sophisticated real-time applications completely in modular C libraries.

The first enhanced device from the MSP430FG46xx generation the FG4619 MCU will incorporate 120kB of embedded flash memory and a complete signal chain on chip (SCoC), making it ideal for applications like portable medical devices that require the high integration and large memory options of a single chip solution. In early 2006, Later in 2006, TIs MCU expansion will continue with new families of devices with increased MIPS, 5V and 125C capabilities, USB 2.0, low voltage operation and wireless connectivity.

TI will showcase the MSP430F20xx, MSP430FG46xx and other devices from the MSP430 MCU platform for the first time at the MSP430 Advanced Technical Conference (ATC) in November and December in Dallas, Texas, Munich, Germany, Taiwan as well as China.

MSP430F20x3 MCUs have begun sampling to high volume customers with full production scheduled Q4 2005. MSP430F20x1 and MSP430F20x2 MCUs will sample Q4 2005 with production early 2006.

Source: Texas Instruments

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