TI Debuts World's Lowest Power MCU Family with Five Times More RAM

2/23/2004 - Addressing designers´ demand for greater choices in memory configurations, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) introduced the MSP430F161x family, which offers 5 times more RAM while retaining the signal-chain-on-chip (SCoC) character of the most popular MSP430 devices. With the new MSP430F161x devices, designers will be able to tackle the toughest low-power monitoring and control design challenges while supporting higher communication throughput.

RAM-Intensive Parts Optimize Signal-Chain-on-Chip
Integrating up to 10kB of RAM with a 200ksps multi-channel 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC), two 12-bit digital to analog converters (DAC), two serial ports, an I2C peripheral, hardware multiplier, 10 pulse width modulation channels and in-system programmable Flash combined with an autonomous three-channel direct memory access controller (DMA), designers can now implement a complete closed loop system in low-power measurement and communication applications.

The expanded DMA, with triggers from all peripherals, accelerates microcontroller unit (MCU)-based signal processing by providing sophisticated and configurable data transfer without central processing unit (CPU) interaction. DMA transfer trigger sources can be completely transparent to the CPU, allowing precise transfer control between memory and internal and external hardware. The DMA eliminates data transfer delays and overhead, freeing the 16-bit RISC CPU to spend more time processing data, instead of performing handling tasks.

"The MSP430F161x devices can sample and store larger amounts of data, enabling more extensive signal calculations, resulting in greater precision," said Cornelia Huellstrunk, MSP430 marketing programs manager, TI. "Customers are also now able to implement high level communication protocols."

Ultra-Low-Power Performance
A flexible clock system with five low-power modes enables unmatched ultra-low-power performance. The MSP430F161x family features a typical standby current consumption of just 1.9uA with a real-time-clock function active. Engineers can tune system clocking to precisely meet the power requirements for their application. For high-performance applications, an integrated digitally controlled oscillator or external high-speed crystal can be used to clock the system at 280uA per million instructions per second. Fast instruction execution, coupled with the MSP430´s CPU start-up from standby of less than six microseconds, results in total power consumption up to 10 times lower than competitive devices.

Development Support
The MSP430F161x devices are fully compatible with the MSP-FET430P140 toolkit, which includes a JTAG interface target board, Flash devices, and a complete integrated development environment including a debugger, assembler/linker and limited C-compiler. The FET supports real-time, in-system development, accessing the Flash device´s embedded emulation capability.

Pricing and Availability
The MSP430F161x devices come in a 64-pin quad flat package (QFP). Engineering samples are available now with full production planned in April.

More information about TI´s MSP430 family of MCUs is available on the World Wide Web at www.ti.com/msp430.

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