Texas Instruments begins sampling of MSP430FR59xx low-power microcontrollers based on leading Wolverine technology

October 31, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Texas Instruments Incorporated has begun sampling the first of the world’s lowest power microcontrollers based on the company’s ‘Wolverine’ technology platform.

TI’s new FRAM-based MSP430FR59xx microcontrollers enable developers to add flexibility, performance and battery life to a variety of applications, including wireless sensing, energy harvesting, Smart Grid, industrial, consumer, building automation and security. MSP430FR59xx microcontrollers offer a rich feature set in support of these applications:  Up to 64kB embedded FRAM, direct memory access (DMA) engine, 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC), analog comparator, capacitive touch IOs and UART, SPI and I2C serial interfaces. Developers can also add hardware, AES encryption, memory protection and hardware accelerated random number generator (DRNG) to their designs without the need for more central processing unit (CPU) performance, memory or power.

Typical battery-powered applications operate in a variety of modes to extend battery life. Most of these applications spend a majority of their life in standby modes, using analog-to-digital converters (ADC) to measure real-world signals, recording data to non-volatile memory for later use and active CPU processing for communications, decision making and simple math. Having ultra-low power in each of these modes is critical to enable maximum battery life, as power is more than just one number. MSP430FR59xx microcontrollers offer the ‘Wolverine’ platform’s ultra-low-power features in each of these modes, including 360 nA in real-time clock mode, less than 100 µA/MHz in active power consumption, fast wakeup time of 6.5µs and high precision peripherals such as internal power management and 12-bit ADC at 75 µA. The new devices also feature  embedded FRAM, the world’s first integrated unified memory technology and industry’s lowest power non-volatile memory architecture, consuming 250x less energy per bit and writing more than 100 times faster compared to Flash- and EEPROM-based microcontrollers.

MSP430FR59xx samples and development kits are available today and are fully compatible with all code and software resources developed for the MSP microcontroller platform. Resources include 1,000+ code examples, ULP Advisor software code analysis tool, Grace graphical initialization software and MSP430Ware with MSP430 microcontroller peripheral libraries. The MSP-TS430RGZ48C target board is available from TI’s