Bringing high integration and ultra low power to complex, deeply embedded industrial sensing applications including portable medical systems, Texas Instruments Incorporated announced volume availability of the MSP430FG461x series of ultra-low power MCUs with up to 120KB flash memory. As the first devices to incorporate the MSP430X architecture—with extended 1MB memory model—the MSP430FG461x series is designed for today’s larger system memory requirements and allows for the development of very sophisticated real-time applications, completely in modular C libraries with full backward compatibility. The extended memory model also enables faster code execution that results in up to 50% reduction in cycles for a full context store and up to 25% when addressing peripherals, flash, or RAM.
As the first MSP430X device, the FG461x MCU series includes up to 120KB of flash and up to 8KB RAM memory. Medical customers indicate that the FG461x MCU series meets the requirements of portable medical devices like digital pulse oximeters and wireless electrocardiograms that require highly integrated intelligent peripherals and larger memory options on a single chip. Up to three operational amplifiers—to handle high precision instrumentation—coupled with the on-board 200ksps 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC), 1 micro-second code-to-code settling time 12-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC), and direct memory access controller (DMA) complete a signal chain on chip (SCoC) solution that reduces overall system cost and eliminates the need for external components. The 3-channel DMA eliminates data transfer delays to the on-chip DACs, ADC and other peripherals and frees up the 16-bit RISC MSP430X CPU to spend time processing data, instead of performing “handling” tasks. Also, compared to using an external DAC and software, the MSP430FG4xx on-chip DAC module, coupled with the DMA, provides a greater than ten times increase in achievable analog output signal frequency. From a single coin cell, the FG461x MCU can operate for up to ten years by consuming less than two micro-amps in a real time clock stand-by mode allowing the battery to last beyond the intended life of the product, in many cases.
As applications become more complex, debugging challenges and development time increase exponentially. Unlike simulator solutions that are often unable to accurately reproduce the application, the embedded enhanced emulation module (EEM)—available on all MSP430 devices—allows designers to accurately debug the hardware/software interactions without the cost and complexity of an in-circuit emulator (ICE). Using no additional application resources, the EEM runs in real time while allowing single stepping through the code. The FG461x EEM offers up to eight hardware breakpoints for complex triggers to monitor the data and address buses. Additional features include non-intrusive state storage trace options with 8 x 40-bit ring buffer which allows storage of data-, address buses and various CPU flags without interfering application code execution.
Silicon and Tool Pricing and Availability
The MSP430FG461x MCU series provides designers with pin-for-pin memory migration from the MSP430F449 MCU. The FG461x series of MCUs are immediately available in volume quantities and start at $9.45 per 1K.