Tag Archives: ti

Tinkering TI MSP430F5529

In my past tutorials on MSP430s, I demonstrated how to get started with MSP430 general purpose microcontrollers from Texas Instruments (TI). Those tutorials covered most aspects of low and mid-end MSP430G2xxx series microcontrollers. For those tutorials, TI’s official software suite – Code Composer Studio (CCS) – an Eclipse-based IDE and GRACE – a graphical peripheral initialization and configuration tool similar to STM32CubeMX were used. To me, those low and mid-end TIs chips are cool and offer best resources one can expect at affordable prices and small physical form-factors. I also briefly discussed about advanced MSP430 microcontrollers and the software resources needed to use them effectively. Given these factors, now it is high time that we start exploring an advanced 16-bit TI MSP430 microcontroller using a combination of past experiences and advanced tools. MSP430F5529 is such a robust high-end device and luckily it also comes with an affordable Launchpad board dedicated for it.

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Introducing TI MSP430 Microcontrollers

Texas Instruments (TI) is a well-known US-based semiconductor manufacturer. TI is perhaps best known to many as the manufacturer of some of the fanciest scientific calculators in the market. Of the long list of electronic devices produced by TI, microcontrollers are on the top. TI manufactures some of the coolest and advanced microcontrollers of the market today. There are several categories of micros from TI. These include general purpose low power MCUs which mainly comprise of MSP430s, ARMs like TM4Cs, MSP432s, etc, micros for wireless communications like CC2xxx series, ARM + DSP micros, DSP-specialized micros like the TMS32xxx series and so on. It will look as if TI is committed toward mixed signal microcontrollers that are engineered for highly sophisticated industrial challenges. This issue will cover an insight of value-line MSP430 general purpose micros.

MSP430 Launchpad Board

MSP430s are not seen as much as the popular 8051s, PICs and AVRs. In most of the Asian market, for example, MSP430s are rare when compared to other microcontrollers and even still rare when compared to other chips produced by TI itself. I don’t know why there is such an imbalance. Perhaps one big reason is its inclination towards low power consumption and limited resources. Low-power means that these MCUs are crafted for special low power applications unlike most other micros. Secondly TI micros are a bit expensive than other micros. Despites these, TI has provided some great tools for making things simple. You can get your hands on some cool MSP430 chips through some affordable Launchpad boards and still it worth every penny learning MSP430s. Firstly, it is a family of ultra-low power high performance 16-bit (16-bit data bus) micros which are unlike the popular 8-bit platforms. Secondly MSP430s have highly rich internal hardware peripherals that are second to none. For instance, MSP430s can be operated over a wide voltage and frequency ranges. Another great feature that is less common in most 8-bit micros is the DMA controller. Fortunately, MSP430s possess this. Probably it is your first such micro family that is somewhere between 8-bit and 32-bit micros. In the end, MSP430s will surely give you a taste of absolute American technology and concepts.

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Design considerations for a wireless LED sign

This application note from Texas Instruments describes the hardware design considerations for making a multi-sport scoreboard that is cost efficient, portable, easy to use, and support wireless transmission of display data.

Designing an LED scoreboard

Designing an LED scoreboard

This application report describes the selection of the following: an appropriate LED display, a controller system, a communication system, and software for building the wireless LED-based scoreboard. Different techniques are included to drive the LED display from a microcontroller as well as some test results. This application report is only for displaying numerals on the scoreboard but the same concept can be applied to display alphabets. A similar concept can be extended to large LED-display modules with multiple 16 × 16 or 24 × 24 matrices.

Three-Phase Electronic Watt-Hour Meter Using the MSP430F677x

The TI’s MSP430F677x devices belong to the powerful 16-bit MSP430F6xx platform, which brings in many new features and provides flexibility to support robust poly-phase metrology solutions. These devices find their application in energy measurement and have the necessary architecture to support them. This application report describes the implementation of a three-phase electronic electricity meter using the MSP430F677x metering processor. The key parameters calculated during energy measurements are: RMS current and voltage, active and reactive power and energies, power factor, and frequency. A 32-bit x 32-bit hardware multiplier on this chip further accelerates the math intensive operations during the energy computation. The application report has complete metrology source code provided as a zip file.

3-phase watt meter

Stellaris Launchpad and TM1638 based seven segment LED display

TM1638 based display modules are found dirt cheap on ebay and dealxtreme. These displays require only 3 I/O pins of a microcontroller to operate. Although they are 5V displays, Dan showed in this tutorial that they can be used with 3.3V platforms such as Stellaris Launchpad. He has published his TM1638 display driver routines for Stellaris Launchpad on Google code.

TM1638 display library for Stellaris Launchpad

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