TI Unveils Ultra-low-power MCU with Optimized Performance Delivery

By CIOReview | Tuesday, March 31, 2015
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DALLAS, TX: In order to achieve high performance at minimum power consumption, Texas Instruments (TI) comes up with MSP432 microcontroller (MCU) platform by leveraging ultra-low-power MCU’s capabilities without compromising performance.

MSP432 MCU is a mixed-signal processor based on Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) that includes analog and digital peripherals and offers a wide range of low-power and portable applications. The platform consumes 95uA/MHz in active power and 850nA in standby power that is a lowest power 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F MCUs determined by score calculated through Ultra-Low Power Benchmark (ULPBench). The ULPBench from the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) offers a standard method to compare power performance on any MCU.

The new MCU integrates DC/DC convertor to optimize power efficiency at high-speed operation and Low-Dropout (LDO) regulator to minimize system cost and design complexity. It comprises of unique selectable RAM retention feature to facilitate power to each of eight RAM banks for operation that enables each bank to decrease overall system power by 30nA.

MSP432 MCU functions in the range of voltage from 1.62V to 3.7V with full-speed operation to lower overall system power. This 32-bit ultra-low-power MSP MCU is expected to expand its capabilities with increasing levels of analog, integration and up to 2MB flash memory.

The new MCU platform adds more performance with the inclusion of integrated digital signal processing (DSP) engine and floating-point core (FPU) that allows for several high performing applications including signal conditioning and sensor processing. The new MCU fuels the performance with dual-bank flash memory which gives read and write functionality simultaneously. It can add 256KB flash memory and ensure device and data security with an advanced encryption standard (AES) 256 hardware encryption accelerator.

MSP432 MCU features facilitate higher throughput data, more integration of advanced algorithms, wired or wireless Internet-of-Things (IoT) stacks and high resolution display image within existing power budget. The platform allows designer to create ultra-low-power embedded applications including industrial and building automation, industrial sensing and security panels, asset tracking and consumer electronics.

In addition, the new platform leverages EnergyTrace+ technology and ULP Advisor software to monitor consumed power in real time with margin of 2 percent. Code, register and low-power peripheral compatibility between MSP430 and MSP432 MCUs allows developers to utilize existing code and port code between 16- and 32-bit devices.

The company also introduces MSPWare software suite with inclusion of libraries, code examples, documentation and hardware tools for 16- and 32-bit MSP MCUs. MSP432 LaunchPad kit facilitates rapid prototyping that is supported by Energia, an open-source platform. The platform leverages broad code base for firmware development by importing libraries for cloud connectivity and sensors and displays.