Electronic Design

MCU Development Tools Jumpstart Design Efforts

To help designers quickly and easily create energy-efficient and ultra-low-power applications, Texas Instruments has expanded its development-kit offerings with three tools for TMS320C2000 32-bit real-time microcontrollers (MCUs) and one for the 16-bit MSP430F5xx ultra-low-power MCU series.

The $299 Resonant DC/DC Developer’s Kit (TMDRESDCKIT) includes a TMS320F2808 controlCARD for dc-dc power conversion in uninterruptible power-supply (UPS), telecom rectifiers, and LED lighting applications. This is a single-transformer, LLC-type digital power evaluation module with four distinct feedback methods. It includes a lossless current sensing circuit for fault protection and active load for transient response tuning, as well as on-board USB JTAG emulation with connection for external emulator and power supply. The kit also features a 32-kbyte-limited copy of the Code Composer Studio integrated development environment (IDE) as well as open-source hardware and software.

At $349, the Renewable Energy Developer’s Kit (TMDSENRGYKIT) is based on an F2808 controlCARD for dc-ac power conversion in solar, wind, and fuel-cell applications. With built-in front-end single-phase boost, the board is designed for single- or three-phase output. Battery charging and management circuitry is also included, such as a relay switch between battery and solar panel. And, ac line sensing and synchronization is onboard to detect if the main grid goes down.

The $169 Peripheral Explorer Developer’s Kit (TMDSPREX28335) board is a useful teaching tool for new users or students to demonstrate key C2000 peripherals (ePWM, ADC, McBSP, eCAP, CAN, I2C, SPI, GPIO). Based on an F28335 controlCARD, the kit offers a peripheral explorer baseboard for full board development. A 5-V power supply is present for powering C2000 MCU and board components.

Lastly, the $149 MSP430F5438 Experimenter’s Kit (MSP-EXP430F5438) is based on the MSP430F5438 MCU for ultra-low-power designs that need enhanced functionality for wireless sensing applications, smart metering, and energy harvesting. A socket allows for easy upgrades and quick application changes. The kit provides for fast low-power-wireless development with support for various TI low-power wireless RF evaluation modules, which cover the sub-1-GHz and 2.4-GHz frequency bands. Multiple input/output options allow for fast system development, including microphone, joystick control, two pushbuttons, a dot-matrix LCD, USB connectivity, and a 3.5-mm headphone jack for audio output. JTAG headers make the device accessible for real-time, in-system programming and debugging.

The $299 C2000 Resonant DC/DC Developer’s Kit, $169 C2000 Peripheral Explorer Developer’s Kit, and $149 MSP430F5438 Experimenter’s Kit are available for order now via the TI e-store or authorized distributors. The $349 C2000 Renewable Energy Developer’s kit will be available in early March 2009.

Texas Instruments


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