Texas Instruments’ (TI) SimpleLink family includes wireless microcontrollers with built-in radios, including those that support Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other protocols like Zigbee. The SimpleLink family is built around the POSIX-compatible TI RTOS and protocol stacks that share a common communication framework. This allows developers to create common applications that work across different wireless networks.
With the MSP432E4 SimpleLink Ethernet microcontroller, the SimpleLink wireless families now extend into wired networking. The chip is built around a 120-MHz, Arm Cortex-M4F and includes the Ethernet PHY (Fig. 1). It features up to 1 MB of flash storage and 256 kB of SRAM. A ROM incorporates bootloader capability, including Ethernet PXE (Preboot Execution Environment) support. It also integrates the TI RTOS, SimpleLink SDK peripheral drivers, and encryption support. The latter takes advantage of hardware encryption accelerations for DES and AES, and SHA and MD5 hash functions.
1. Texas Instruments’ MSP432E4 SimpleLink Ethernet microcontroller includes the PHY, thus reducing BOM costs.
A 6-kB EEPROM delivers up to 500-kwrites per 2-page block. There’s also load-leveling and lock-protection support. An external peripheral interface (EPI) handles 8-, 16- and 32-bit interfaces to off-chip devices and memory such as SRAM and flash.
The 10/100 Ethernet MAC supports Media Independent Interface (MII) and Reduced MII (RMII) interfaces. The Ethernet also handles the IEEE 1588 precision time protocol (PTP).
Additional communication support includes up to two CAN 2.0A/B controllers, USB OTG and multiple UARTs, I2C, and quad SSI units, along with a 1-wire interface. On the analog side, the chip has three comparators plus dual 12-bit ADCs that support up to 24 analog channels. A quadrature encoder and multiple PWM timers are included for motion-control support. The LCD controller can handle passive- and active-matrix LCD panels.
The TI LaunchPad series is now equipped for the MSP432E401Y SimpleLink microcontroller (Fig. 2). The $19.99 LaunchPad board supports BoosterPack plug-in modules, including wireless SimpleLink devices that allow the board to be used for applications such as wireless gateways.