TI MSP430 and Launchpad

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by Potato Pudding, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Potato Pudding

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
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    Has anyone had much or any experience with these micros from Texas Instruments?

    Would the Launchpad and a handful of the micros be worth my time?

    I am looking at their wiki and will probably download the free development software.
     
  2. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    Like every other micro, TI's can do quite a bit.
    The MSP430 is there "launch" into the entrylevel uC world.

    It has many cool option, onboard temp sensor, ADC, blah blah.

    There is no where near as much to help you with TI uC's as, say, AMTEL or PIC...
    BUT, they are quite nice. I like them. They are small, power conscious and powerful.

    Not to mention, the development board is about the price of a standard uC, and the launchpad comes with 2. One with ADC one without.
     
  3. Potato Pudding

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
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    I will admit that it was the price that caught my attention.

    I thought they must not be real micros and it must not be a real dev board.

    But I looked and it seemed to have the juice.
     
  4. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    Oh, they have the juice.

    They are actually quite impressive.

    They are losing money on this one, but they are trying to grab the hobbiest market.

    Just the other parts on the board would cost around $4.30.

    The development tools are REAL nice.
    And easy to work with. Shallow learning curve.

    The community is growing quickly, so you will have quite a few people learning at your level. It should be fun.

    There will be many new experiments popping up daily for them.. The excitement surrounding it should keep you motivated too. (Not saying you have a problem with motivation ;) )
     
  5. wannaBinventor

    Member

    Apr 8, 2010
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    Wow, those look interesting!

    I've started to learn with the PIC, and I'm far from an expert, but I wouldnt mind branching out and seeing what else is out there. I see that the LaunchPad you showed features a 20 pin DIP socket for flashing in code, but I'm wondering if they offer something similar to the PicKit for ICSP. That would be what I'd really want, so I could program their stuff that's not available in a DIP package.

    Thier prices do seem to outshine microchip's, but I know I stayed away b/c I felt like the lack of tutorials on the net as compared to the PICs would slow me down.
    With that said, if you ever plan on producing a product a CC430F6126, for example, is a low voltage 16 bit MCU with a sub-Ghz RF transciever, 32KB of flash memory, 2 kb ram, built in temp sensor, built in LCD driver, hardware UART, IrDA, SPI, I2C, and 44 GPIO pins for $4.60 @ the 1,000 unit price break. Not too bad!
     
  6. wannaBinventor

    Member

    Apr 8, 2010
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    How would you compare the learning curve of TI's MCUs to Microchip's PICs given the current amount of online support and tutorials for each?
     
  7. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
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    The MSP430 series is probably a bit easier to program in assembly compared to PICs. The array of registers (r0..r15 IIRC) is very useful compared to just the W register. And each register supports indirect addressing as well as indirect post increment, handy for things like string copy. The MSP430 is also a 16-bit microcontroller, compared to the 8-bit micros from Microchip, but it has a lot of power and for about the same price (the budget/value line starts at 25 cents in 1ku I think.)

    I have got myself two LaunchPads - they arrived a few days ago. They're the real deal, but I haven't got around to working with them yet because I'm working on a few other projects. I got them when it was $4.30 + free shipping.
     
  8. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    Well, you will have to do a lot more "creating" with the 430. If you want to build with a PIC, the chances are, there is already a blogger or site that shows schematic and code of a finished product.

    Not so much with the 430. BUT, its on its way.

    the launchpad is programmer, debugger, dev board in one... for $4.30

    So, I think it will take off quickly.
     
  9. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    If I hadn't already half learned how to use PICs I'd be getting one. The first thing I'd do would be to put a ZIF socket on there or work out how to do ICSP.
    Is it $4.30 because it is the 430?
     
  10. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    Yup. Its the 'ol:
    "Get the 430 for $4.30 deal"
     
  11. mushin123

    New Member

    Aug 28, 2010
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    0
    LaunchPad has the budget processor and is a great way to get started. I am personally using a more advanced board with the 5XX series MCU:

    http://www.bipom.com/products/us/3164630.html

    I can program it using USB or RS232.
     
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