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Ultra-Low-Power Flash MCUs Boast Of 50X Performance Increase

Claiming to offer up to 50 times more processing performance while maintaining ultra-low-power consumption, four new additions to the company's line of MSP430 16-bit RISC microcontrollers feature an innovative direct transfer controller (DTC) module. The MSP430F1232, F1222, F1132 and F1122 flash MCUs provide direct data transfer between an integrated 10-bit A/D converter and on-chip memory. The independent DTC enables the CPU to perform digital signal processing operations up to 50 times faster than conventional MCUs, the company says. With the aid of the DTC, the CPU is freed to process real-time tasks simultaneously with continuous analog-to-digital sampling to achieve higher overall performance, or it can enter low-power modes to save power in battery-operated applications. A small form-factor makes the new devices well-suited for cost sensitive embedded applications, such as security systems, smoke detectors and smart tags. The devices operate with input voltages ranging from 1.8V to 3.6V. Integrated features include up to 8 KB of reprogrammable flash memory, 256 bytes of RAM, a multichannel PWM timer, a watchdog timer, and on-board brownout protection. A high-speed USART in the MSP430F12x2 devices can be used in either UART or SPI mode. Rated at more than 200 kSps, the MCUs's eight-channel A/D converter includes a programmable sample-and-hold, oscillator, temperature sensor, precision reference, and low-battery detection. Pricing ranges from $2.24 to $2.79 each/10K. Also available is the MSP-FET430P120, an integrated development environment that includes two samples of the MSP430F1232 MCU. TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INC., Dallas, TX. (800) 477-8924.


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