TI Lowers Cost of USB-Based Development with New Flash Emulation Tools

10/25/2004 - Adding flexibility to code development, evaluation and programming, Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE: TXN) (TI) announced availability of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) JTAG Debugging Interface (MSP-FET430UIF) and USB Development Flash Emulation Tools (FET) (MSP-FET430Uxx) for ultra-low power MSP430 microcontrollers (MCUs). The Development FETs allow users to connect directly to USB ports instead of the parallel ports not available on some new personal computers (PC), while the Debugging Interface can be used with existing parallel port MSP430 FETs to program and debug via a PC USB port. For more information on the new MSP430 USB Debugging Interface and USB Development FETs, see www.ti.com/msp430fet.

Developers can use either the Debugging Interface, in conjunction with a MSP430 target socket board, or the Development FETs, which include the target socket board, as complete tools for development, evaluation and programming. Both tools use the standard 14 pin JTAG connector to communicate to the MSP430 device. The new USB Debugging JTAG Interface will be available late October 2004 but can be pre-ordered for $74 with a $25 instant discount (coupon code PTIUF043), now through November 19th 2004. The MSP430 FET will be available for $149 in late 2004.

“The continued popularity of the MSP430 ultra low power MCU and the ease of use and flexibility of USB development boards made it important for us to offer inexpensive USB flash emulation tools and USB JTAG for existing customers,” said Mark Buccini, MSP430 marketing director, TI. “The JTAG Debugging Interface and Development FETs allow developers to erase and program flash memory in seconds with just few keystrokes, and because MSP430 flash is extremely low power, no external power supply is required.”

By connecting a MSP430-Flash device directly to a USB port on a PC, The USB JTAG Debugging Interface greatly simplifies set-up and ease of use for developers. The Interface includes a KickStart integrated development environment (IDE), which offers an assembler, linker, simulator, source-level debugger and limited C-compiler. Additional features include a software configurable supply voltage between 1.8 and 3.6 volts at 100mA, burning JTAG security fuse for extra protection and backwardly compatible with existing FETs and existing JTAG socket boards. Also provided with the JTAG Interface is a USB cable and a 14-conductor target cable as well as full documentation on CD ROM. The new USB FETs are compatible with USB 1.0 and USB 2.0 running under Win2000 and WinXP.

The new USB Development FETs include all of the features of the USB Debugging Interface, but also provide a MSP430 target socket board.

Complete MSP430 FET Solution
With the addition of the new MSP430 FETs, customers now have a complete line of development tools for existing and future designs with either parallel or USB PC ports. Both tools support development with all MSP430 flash devices.

See the Newest USB Tools in Action
Customers can preview the USB JTAG Interface and FETs’ functionality at the upcoming 3rd annual MSP430 Advanced Technical Conference (ATC) being held in Dallas (November 9-11), Beijing (November 16-18) and Freising (December 7-9). TI experts will provide attendees with in-depth knowledge of the MSP430 architecture, peripherals, coding/design techniques and applications as well as the newest MSP430 devices and tools. Attendees can customize their training by choosing from a variety of in-depth workshops and seminars to sharpen their knowledge and exchange ideas with MSP430 experts, third parties and worldwide MSP430 users. For more information on the MSP430 ATC, see www.ti.com/atc.

Industry’s Lowest Power MCU
MSP430 ultra-low power technology and high performance analog capability offer customers a true signal-chain-on-chip (SCoC) solution, including 12-bit analog-to-digital converters (ADC), digital-to-analog converters (DAC) and direct memory access (DMA). As the industry’s lowest power MCU, the recently introduced MSP430F2xx platform features a real-time clock standby mode of less than one micro-amp with the ability to switch to a fully synchronized 16 million of instructions per second (MIPS) active mode in less than one micro-second. The combination of an extremely low-power standby current with an instant-on active mode enables the trend toward the use of smaller, lower-cost batteries in applications such as portable medical instruments and security systems where OEMs may choose to reduce cost and liability by installing sealed batteries at the factory. MSP430 MCUs are also ideal for designers of cost-sensitive applications due to the highly competitive pricing ranging from $0.49 to $8.95. For more information about TI's MSP430 ultra low MCU product line, see www.ti.com/msp430.

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