TI’s MSP430 MCUs add non-volatile FRAM, on-chip LCD controller

Texas Instruments has launched their lowest-power MCUs with an on-chip LCD controller within a new family of ultra-low-power MSP430 microcontrollers (MCUs) that provide all the advantages of non-volatile FRAM in a small memory footprint. The new MSP430FR4x/FR2x MCUs include 60 capacitive-touch-enabled general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins so developers can create flexible ultra-low-power products for home automation systems, household appliances, remote controls, energy harvesting applications and many more.

The MSP430FR4x series rounds out TI’s portfolio of ultra-low-power MCUs with integrated LCD support on-chip. The new MCU featured on the MSP-EXP430FR4133 LaunchPad kit includes a segmented LCD driver with software-configurable LCD pins to enable quick and easy hardware layout and an integrated charge pump that allows the LCD contrast level to be maintained even when the MCU is in low-power modes. The LCD controller can drive up to 256 segments to support large displays used in panel meters and portable health and fitness equipment. TI’s continued focus on ultra-low-power consumption enabled the development of the MSP430FR4x devices, which are the lowest-power MCUs with LCD in the industry. The MSP430FR4133 LaunchPad is immediately available so developers can jump start LCD-based designs quickly.

FRAM MCUs offer unbeatable write speeds, according to the company, combined with 10 billion times more write cycles than traditional non-volatile memory solutions, exponentially increasing the amount of data that can be collected, outlasting the product lifetime itself. FRAM simplifies code development because it does not require pre-erasure of segments and can be accessed at the bit-level, enabling constant on-the-fly data logging with zero extra power. Wireless firmware updates are less complex, faster and lower energy.

Features

  • The new 16 KB non-volatile FRAM memory families expand TI’s code-compatible FRAM portfolio so developers have scalable memory options from 16 KB up to 128 KB.
  • Up to 60 GPIO pins make design easier and reduce system complexity and board space.
  • Low power consumption of 126 µA/MHz (typical) and less than 1 µA standby with LCD powered on.
  • Low-cost MSP430FR4133-based LaunchPad rapid prototyping evaluation kit enables designers to quickly and easily evaluate non-volatile FRAM memory, EnergyTrace technology and integrated LCD.

The MSP-EXP430FR4133 LaunchPad is immediately available for purchase from TI’s eStore or authorized distributors for $13.99. MSP430FR4x MCUs with LCD support are available for immediate sampling. Production quantities of MSP430FR4x/FR2x families will be available in November starting at $1.65.

MSP430 FRAM MCUs

Ultra-low power MSP430 MCU platform

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