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TI MCUs extend battery life of tablets

22 Oct 2013

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Texas Instruments released the MSP430 series of microcontrollers that boast ultra-low power consumption to help prolong battery life in "always on" devices such as tablet PCs and smartphones. Compatible with MSP430Ware software as well as existing MSP430 devices, these MCUs to configure devices to go on standby mode when power-consuming touch screen controllers and processors remain active but not in use.

Prices start at $2.05 per 1,000-unit orders. The MSP430F525x can be purchased for at least $2.61 for 1,000 units while MSP430F524x/3x are available for a minimum of $1.70. Customers can also purchase the MSP-TS430RGC64C target socket for $117, and the MSP-FET430U64C target socket and UIF emulator for $175.

MSP430F525x MCUs feature a 1.8V split-rail I/O architecture that allows seamless interface to the application processor without needing an external level shifting circuit. With a fast wake-up time at 3.5us and as little as 1.6uA power consumption in standby mode, these microcontrollers can extend battery life in portable consumer products from hours to days, while simultaneously reducing board space and system cost. The new 16bit MCUs also include additional RAM, I/O and serial interfaces to handle complex sensor algorithms, aggregation and monitoring functionalities quicker.

Additional features include four USCI_A and four USCI_B interfaces so developers have up to eight serial interfaces (four I2C and four SPI) for fast and robust communication to sensors or peripheral devices; up to 35 general-purpose I/O can be used in the 1.8V voltage rail to conserve energy by switching off power supplies to components that are not in active use; low-power peripherals include four 16bit timers, 10bit analogue-to-digital converter, hardware multiplier, DMA, comparator, and real-time clock module with alarm capabilities; active power at 290uA/MHz in Flash and 150uA/MHz in RAM, standby mode at 1.6uA (3V) and ultra-fast wakeup at 3.5us allows developers to implement differentiated features while maintaining ultra-low power consumption.

Eight additional single-voltage rail 128K flash MSP430F524x and MSP430F523x variants are ideal for industrial applications requiring larger memory like wireless smoke detectors, industrial sensors and smart appliances. These devices also support other software-intensive wireless interfaces like ZigBee and Wi-Fi.

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