The MSP430 launchpad is a relatively new development board from TI featuring what they call the “worlds lowest power microcontrollers”. The launchpad comes packaged with two MCU’s from the MSP430 series. The one that comes mounted on the launchpad is the MSP430G2553. It has the following specs:
- Low Supply-Voltage Range: 1.8 V to 3.6 V
- Ultra-Low Power Consumption Active Mode: 230 µA at 1 MHz, 2.2 V
- 2 16 bit timers
- Capacitive touch IO (Not sure what that is yet, but I’m intrigued)
- 16KB flash
- up to 16 MHZ
- 8 channel 10 bit ADC
The launchpad development board features a microUSB connection for programming and powering the board (3.3V). Also a programmable switch and some additional power/ground/Serial headers. But the most enticing thing about this product is it’s price. Although it was introduced at the very low price of $4.30, I’ve seen it selling for around $10.50 at Mouser and Digi-key. This is still a very good price for a development board.
Anyway, this pricing is clearly a strategy for TI to gain some ground in the hobby electronics market. I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for ways to save on my ever-growing project wish list.
Even though I’m an avid Atmel AVR microcontroller fan, this price was just too good to pass up so I ordered one to test it out. I’m also very interested in the low power requirements. I have wanted to do some very small projects powered by a watch battery or a li-po battery.
This tutorial series will highlight my experiences with the MSP430 launchpad from a hobbyist perspective. I’m sure there will be many roadblocks and confusion along the way. I’ll be sure to document those and share how to avoid them. Hopefully we will find some solutions together. So feel free to comment and ask questions at the end of the posts.
Thanks, and happy building!