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Ultra-low-power 32-bit MCU platform targets industrial and IoT applications

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By eeNews Europe

TI’s MSP432 microcontroller (MCU) platform claims to be industry’s lowest power 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F MCUs.

To create the low power architecture solution, TI opted to build the MSP432 around the Cortex-M4F core architecture rather than ARM’s Cortex-M0 core following the realisation that traditional industrial control applications and future Internet of Things applications require a more feature-rich solution that is low in power usage.

The 48 MHz MCUs apply TI’s ultra-low-power MCU expertise to optimize performance without compromising power, while consuming 95 µA/MHz in active power and 850 nA in standby power. Industry-leading integrated analog, such as a high-speed 14-bit 1MSPS analog-to-digital converter (ADC), further optimizes power efficiency and performance. MSP432 MCUs enable designers to develop ultra-low-power embedded applications such as industrial and building automation, industrial sensing, industrial security panels, asset tracking and consumer electronics where both efficient data processing and enhanced low-power operation are essential.

The MSP432 MCUs claim to deliver a best-in-class ULPBench score of 167.4 – outperforming all other Cortex-M3 and -M4F MCUs on the market. The ultra-low power benchmark (ULPBench) from the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) provides a standard way to compare power performance on any MCU, independent of architecture.


The integrated DC/DC optimizes power efficiency at high-speed operation, while an integrated LDO reduces overall system cost and design complexity. In addition, a 14-bit ADC consumes 375 µA at 1MSPS. MSP432 MCUs include a unique selectable RAM retention feature that provides dedicated power to each of the eight RAM banks needed for an operation, so overall system power can be reduced by 30 nA per bank. MSP432 MCUs can also operate as low as 1.62 V and as high as 3.7 V with full-speed operation to lower overall system power.

The integrated digital signal processing (DSP) engine and floating-point core (FPU) of the ARM Cortex-M4F core enable a multitude of high performance applications,
such as signal conditioning and sensor processing, while maintaining performance headroom for product differentiation. MSP432 MCUs include up to 256 KB flash and boost performance with dual-bank flash memory that enables simultaneous read and write functionality. An advanced encryption standard (AES) 256 hardware encryption accelerator enables developers to secure their device and data, while IP protection features on MSP432 MCUs ensure data and code security. These features result in higher throughput, more integration of advanced algorithms, wired or wireless Internet of Things (IoT) stacks and higher resolution display images – all while operating within an existing power budget.

A target board (MSP-TS432PZ100) or a low-cost LaunchPad rapid prototyping kit (MSP-EXP432P401R) with on-board emulation will enable engineers to staet evaluating MSP432 MCUs. Developers can expand their MSP432 LaunchPad kit evaluation with a full suite of stackable BoosterPacks, including the low-power SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3100 BoosterPack. In addition, TI’s Cloud Development Ecosystem helps developers get started faster by allowing them to access their products, documentation, software and even integrated development environment (IDE) all from the convenience of the web. MSP432 MCUs support multiple real-time operating system (RTOS) options, including TI-RTOS, FreeRTOS and Micrium µC/OS.

The 32-bit MSP432 MCU platform is aimed at helping developers to create IoT-connected designs with more flexibility and memory, higher performance, integrated analog and compatible Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart and Sub-1 GHz wireless connectivity solutions.  Code, register and low-power peripheral compatibility between MSP430 and MSP432 portfolios will enable developers to optimize existing code and port code between 16- and 32-bit devices.


Focusing on power consumption savings TI is using EnergyTrace+ technology and ULP Advisor software to monitor power consumption in real time with ±2 percent accuracy.  All-inclusive, power-optimized MSPWare software suite will include libraries, code examples, documentation and hardware tools for 16- and 32-bit MSP MCUs and can be accessed online with TI’s Resource Explorer or Code Composer Studio (CCS) IDE. Additional support through IAR Embedded WorkBench and ARM Keil MDK IDEs.

Availability and Pricing

The MSP432P401RIPZ MCU is available for immediate sampling. Upcoming devices will be available with a wide variety of features, packages sizes and up to 256 KB flash starting at $2.15 in 1K units. Developers can start designing with MSP432 MCUs using the MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad kit for $12.99 or the MSP-TS432PZ100 target board for $89.

MSP432 MCUs


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