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this FAQ addresses the most common questions one might have about the new MSP432™ MCU. The main topics currently covered in this FAQs are:
MSP432 MCU Overview
Q: What is Texas Instruments announcing? A: TI is announcing an expanded MSP portfolio including a new family of 32‐bit processors built on the ARM Cortex‐M4F core. The first family includes the MSP432P401x MCUs with 48MHz speed, 1MSPS 14‐bit ADC, up to 256KB flash, up to 64kB RAM and low‐power operation of only 95uA/MHz active and 850nA in standby with RTC.
Q: What is MSP? A: MSP is TI’s low‐power MCU portfolio. It includes two platforms: 16‐bit ultra‐low‐power MSP430™ MCUs and 32‐bit low power and performance MSP432 MCUs.
Q: Why is TI moving its MSP430 MCU family from a proprietary core to an industry‐standard core? A: The 16‐bit MSP430 MCUs are on a TI‐developed (proprietary) core and will continue to be developed and produced for all of our customers needing ultra‐low power MCUs. The new MSP432 MCU family is designed for customers who care about low‐power consumption, but need added performance (32‐bits and 48MHz) or are looking to take, or already have taken, their designs to the industry‐standard ARM Cortex‐M core.
Q: Is TI changing its focus for MSP430 towards performance instead of low‐power?
A: No. Low‐power remains at the heart of MSP’s brand, expertise and value proposition to our customers. The MSP architecture is optimized for low‐power; however the new MSP432 MCU platform will also include high performance features.
Q: Where does the MSP432 MCU platform fit within TI’s MCU portfolio, within the MSP MCU portfolio?
A: The MSP432 MCU platform is part of the TI’s low‐power MSP MCU portfolio. Within MSP, MSP432 MCUs are part of the “Low‐Power + Performance” family (which also includes the 16‐bit MSP430F5x/F6x series). MSP also contains the “Ultra‐Low Power” family that includes TI’s FRAM MCU products and the “Security + Communication” family that includes RF430 SoCs with an integrated 13.56MHz RF radio.
Q: Why is TI using an ARM Cortex‐M4F core in its MSP MCU portfolio?
A: TI’s MSP432 MCUs are a differentiated low‐power Cortex‐M‐based MCU that provide performance benefits to existing MSP430 customers and enable existing ARM developers to become part of the MSP family. With more than 20 years of low‐power expertise, TI’s MSP MCU team is best equipped to create a low‐power general purpose Cortex–M solution with a focus on high performance, analog integration and ease of use. MSP is recognized as a trusted, low‐power leader with an ecosystem that enables developers of all experience levels.
Q: What is the SDK?
A: The MSP432 software development kit (SDK) is a comprehensive software package that enables engineers to quickly develop highly functional applications on Texas Instruments MSP432 microcontrollers (MCUs). The MSP432 SDK is comprised of multiple compatible software components including RTOS, drivers, and middleware as well as examples of how to use these components together. In addition, examples are provided to demonstrate the use of each functional area and each supported device and as a starting point for your own projects.
Q: What is a plug-in?
A: Plugins are intended to extend functionality of each individual base SDK to include specialized use-cases. These specialized use cases can range anywhere from adding wireless functionality to extending a base SDK's example base.
While all of the plugins have the same basic structure and look-and-feel of an SDK, they are not meant as standalone applications and rely heavily on components from the base SDK. The SimpleLink MSP432 SDK Bluetooth Plugin, for example, relies heavily on the TI-Drivers, TI-RTOS, DriverLib, and GraphicsLib components from the base SDK. A high level block diagram of these dependencies can be seen in the image below:
List of MSP432 Resources
For more information on the MSP432 MCU device, go to:
Key features of MSP432 MCUs
More MSP432 Technical Details
MSP432 Tools, IDE & Debugging FAQs
If you are using the MSP-TS432PZ100 target socket board or develop your own MSP432 Microcontroller application, or just want to use an external debugger with the MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad, you can use one of the following debuggers.
Q: Will TI expand support for its Grace™ software?
MSP432 LaunchPad FAQs
The down side to this approach is perhaps that the board doesn’t sit flat. But while a USB cable is attached (the usual development model), it tends to not sit flat anyway. For those wishing it to sit flat, holes were drilled in the corners, so that standoffs could be fastened. Rubber bumper feet also should work.
EnergyTrace Technology FAQs
Q: When I start the EnergyTrace+ windows through View → Other → EnergyTrace before launching the debug session, data capture sometimes does not start.
A: Enable EnergyTrace through Window → Preferences → Code Composer Studio → Advanced Tools → EnergyTrace™ Technology. When launching a debug session, the EnergyTrace+ windows automatically open, and data capture starts when the device executes. If you accidentally close all EnergyTrace+ windows during a debug session, you can reopen them through View → Other → EnergyTrace.
In reply to Benjamin Brammer14:
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