Getting the most out of a high-resolution timer


Sometimes the right tool for the job is under your nose, or has been around for several years – you just didn’t know it. We’d like to expose you to some great technology you may not be aware of. For any application where you require a high resolution PWM, the Timer D peripheral on the MSP430F51x2 and MSP430F51x1 devices, is great solution. The articles listed below, including a new whitepaper on getting the most out of a high-resolution timer, give examples of how you can use Timer D to help improve the flexibility, increase the sensitivity, or reduce the size and cost of your design.

Timer D is a 16-bit timer and counter with 4ns resolution @ 16MHz, or 5ns resolution @ 25MHz, which can support multiple input captures, output compares, interval timing, and PWM outputs both in general and high resolution modes. Timer D also has extensive interrupt capabilities, and is also fully software compatible with MSP430’s Timer A and B.

Where could this be useful in your applications? Timer D, for example, could be used to increase the sensitivity in applications that require capacitive touch sensing,  reduce  ripple in apps requiring DC/DC conversion, or lower cost in DAC/ADC solutions .

In addition to Timer D, the MSP430F51xx devices also feature another capability not found on other MSP430 devices – up to 12 x 20mA 5V tolerant push/pull I/Os. This enables interfacing to 5V ICs directly, or LEDs via the 20mA I/Os – ultimately reducing the amount of components in your system.

To learn more about how to use Timer D, take a look through these papers:

Also, take a look at two TI Designs that take advantage of MSP430F51x2 devices: