Wireless Applications

Enhanced MCUs for Portable Medical and Industrial Sensing

February 15, 2007

TI's ultra-low-power embedded emulation modules shorten debugging in complex applications.


HOUSTON, /PRNewswire/ -- Bringing high integration and ultra-low power to complex, deeply embedded industrial sensing applications, including portable medical systems, Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) announced volume availability of the MSP430FG461x series of ultra-low-power MCUs, with up to 120 KB of flash memory. As the first devices to incorporate the MSP430X architecture—with extended 1 MB memory model—the MSP430FG461x series is designed for today's larger-system memory requirements and allows for the development of sophisticated real-time applications, completely in modular C libraries, with full backward compatibility. The extended memory model also enables faster code execution that results in up to 50% reduction in cycles for a full context store and up to 25% when addressing peripherals, flash, or RAM. For more information on the new MSP430FG461x devices, visit the company's Web site.

New MSP430FG461x MCUs Bring High Integration and Memory to Sensing Applications
As the first MSP430X device, the FG461x MCU series includes up to 120 KB of flash memory and as much as 8 KB RAM memory. Medical customers indicate that the FG461x MCU series meets the requirements of portable medical devices, such as digital pulse oximeters and wireless electrocardiograms that require highly integrated intelligent peripherals and larger memory options on a single chip. Up to three operational amplifiers to handle high-precision instrumentation; the onboard 200-Ksps, 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC); the 1 microsecond code-to-code settling time; 12-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC); and direct-memory-access controller (DMA) complete a signal chain on chip (SCoC) solution that reduces overall system cost and eliminates the need for external components. The 3-channel DMA eliminates data transfer delays to the on-chip DACs, ADC, and other peripherals and frees up the 16-bit RISC MSP430X CPU to spend time processing data instead of performing "handling" tasks. Also, compared with using an external DAC and software, the MSP430FG4xx on-chip DAC module, coupled with the DMA, provides a greater than ten times increase in achievable analog output signal frequency. From a single coin cell, the FG461x MCU can operate for up to ten years by consuming less than two microamps in a real-time clock stand-by mode, allowing the battery to last beyond the intended life of the product, in many cases.

MSP430 Enhanced Emulation Module Replaces Expensive In-Circuit Emulation (ICE) and Limited Simulators
As applications become more complex, debugging challenges and development time increase exponentially. Unlike simulator solutions that are often unable to accurately reproduce the application, the embedded enhanced emulation module (EEM)—available on all MSP430 devices—allows designers to accurately debug the hardware/software interactions without the cost and complexity of an in-circuit emulator (ICE). Using no additional application resources, the EEM runs in real time while allowing single stepping through the code. The FG461x EEM offers up to eight hardware breakpoints for complex triggers to monitor the data and address buses. Additional features include nonintrusive state-storage trace options, with an 8 by 40-bit ring buffer, which allows storage of data, address buses, and various CPU flags without interfering with application-code execution. For additional information on the MSP430 EEM, visit the company's Web site.

Silicon and Tool Pricing and Availability
The MSP430FG461x MCU series provides designers with pin-for-pin memory migration from the MSP430F449 MCU. The FG461x series of MCUs are immediately available in volume quantities and start at $9.45 per 1K.

Designers can immediately start development on FG461x devices using the USB-based MSP-FET430U100 development board. Requiring no external power, the development board includes IAR Kickstart development software and full CD-based documentation. Available for $149 direct from TI or from your local authorized dealer. Additional details are available on the company's Web site.

TI Enables Innovation with a Broad Range of Controllers
From ultra-low-power MSP430 and 32-bit general-purpose TMS470 ARM7 family-based MCUs to high-performance TMS320C2000 digital signal controllers, TI offers designers the broadest range of embedded control solutions. Designers can also accelerate their design to market by tapping into TI's complete software and hardware tools, extensive third-party offerings, and technical support. For more information on the broad range of TI's controllers, visit the company's Web site.

Texas Instruments Inc. provides innovative DSP and analog technologies to meet our customers' real-world signal processing requirements. In addition to semiconductors, the company's businesses include sensors and controls, and educational and productivity solutions. TI is headquartered in Dallas, TX, and has manufacturing, design, or sales operations in more than 25 countries.

For more information, visit the company's Web site.

Trademarks
ARM7 and ARM7TDMI are registered trademarks of ARM Limited. TMS320C2000 is a trademark of Texas Instruments. All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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