Texas Instruments (TI) has expanded its portfolio of MSP430 Value Line microcontrollers (MCUs) with new parts that offer integrated and configurable signal-chain elements and an extended operating temperature range for sensing and measurement. Target applications include smoke detectors, sensor transmitters, and circuit breakers. The key benefits: greater design flexibility, a reduction in printed-circuit-board (PCB) size, and lower bill-of-materials (BOM) cost.
The new MSP430FR2355 ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) MCUs now offer an extended operating temperature range from –40°C to 105°C, enabling the devices to be used in applications that require higher operating temperatures like industrial factory automation systems. Previously, the line offered a temp range of –40°C to 85°C.
The biggest benefit of this product line expansion is the signal-chain configurability. The new MCUs provide engineers with greater design flexibility by providing four smart analog combo modules that can be integrated into a number of combinations. These modules can be configured into multiple 12-bit digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and programmable gain amplifiers, along with a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and two enhanced comparators.
The four smart analog combos, configurable by the user, can be configured independently of each other or linked internally. It allows the developer to build up some fairly complex signal chains, said Dave Smith, TI’s marketing manager.
“There is a lot of flexibility in each of these modules,” added Smith. “Each module can be configured as either a 12-bit DAC or as an op amp or programmable gain amplifier. The part also has a 12-bit ADC and two enhanced comparators. When you take all of these blocks, you can start to build out some nice system-on-chip configurations.”
The ultra-low-power FRAM MCU line also delivers more memory and processing speed options. The family offers memory up to 32 KB (with 16-KB options) and CPU speed operation up to 24 MHz. However, designers can scale with the complete MSP430 FRAM MCU portfolio for designs that require more memory, higher performance, and more analog peripherals. The higher-performance lines within the MCU430 family include capacitive sensing and ultrasonic sensing.