Getting started for MSP430 ultra-low-power MCUs

Introduction—Getting to know MSP

MSP microcontrollers

MSP low-power microcontrollers  from Texas Instruments (TI) are RISC-based, mixed-signal processors that integrate smart analog/digital peripherals including advance features such as low-power embedded RF and security such as AES encryption. MSP microcontrollers offer the ultimate solution for a wide range of low-power industrial and portable applications. We also provide all of the hardware development kits and embedded software you need to get started today! Plus, TI has many complementary components to meet your needs.

Below you'll see an example of how MSP microcontrollers address the needs of an industrial automation application. These concepts can also be applied to a broad range of industrial and consumer applications.

ultra-low power ultra-low-power


  • Lowest standby power - mostly-off applications running below 25 MHz
  • Lowest power data acquisition - ADC and internal window comparator for reduced CPU wakeup time
  • Design flexibility - broadest 16-bit portfolio, now including unified FRAM technology
  • System on chip options – integrated power management, analog front ends, LCD peripherals, and security features

Learn more

Low-power + performance

  • Advanced computing - up to 48MHz and lowest active power
  • High performance sensing - 1MSPS ADC and fast processing through serial communications interfaces
  • Design headroom - up to 512 KB Flash memory and 64 KB RAM for advanced algorithms, image processing and connectivity stack support
  • Minimize discrete components – integrated power management, analog, USB interface, LCD peripherals and security features

Learn more


MSP ultra-low-power microcontrollers are ideal in applications where the majority of the microcontroller life is spent in standby. The latest addition to this family is the series of MSP430FRx FRAM-based microcontrollers, which offer high write speeds and nearly infinite endurance for enhanced data-acquisition and logging from sensors as well as security capabilities and new features that include IR modulation logic and dual analog-front-end’s for rotation detection.

Low-power + performance:

MSP Low-power + performance microcontrollers from TI provide designers with enhanced performance and increased design options with more peripherals on chip while using less power than ever before. These MCUs are ideal in mostly “on” battery-powered applications needing significant compute requirements. The new MSP432™ microcontrollers in this family are 32-bit microcontrollers offering higher performance with a standardized ARM® core providing the low-power benefits of MSP microcontrollers.


The RF430 and CC430 microcontroller platforms from Texas Instruments offers the industry's lowest power, single-chip radio-frequency (RF) family for microcontroller-based applications. By making Sub-1GHz and Near-Field Communication design easy, small, performance-rich and power-efficient, these system on chip help advance RF networking applications ranging from building automation to asset tracking. Beyond integrated RF, we also offer software examples and TI Designs for creating systems with MSP microcontrollers and standalone transceivers from TI.

Technology differentiators—Getting to know MSP

The lowest-power

MSP low-power 16-bit and 32-bit microcontrollers offer the lowest power-consumption in the industry and now, you can see for yourself. The Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC), is now offering the ULPBench™ benchmark. This new ULPBENCH benchmark accounts for system functions that include the real-time clock, power modes and integrated hardware. This benchmark provides a true comparison of system-level current and energy efficiency across microcontrollers. Scores are available today, or developers can use the ULPBench EnergyMonitor™ to compare devices themselves.

MSP low-power microcontrollers perform 30 percent better than the closest competitor due to a design focused on application-level power-consumption that includes a low-leakage manufacturing process, design/architecture techniques, and software-managed power conservation capabilities (individual peripheral and five device level low power modes (LPMs)). LPMs combine clock gating and the use of low/high frequency clocks to deliver optimal current consumption, performance, autonomous peripheral operation, and minimal power-up latencies.

Productive low-power modes allow:

  • Take ADC Samples
  • Transfer data throughout memory range
  • Output PWM signal
  • Update LCD
  • Send and receive serial communication

                 ULPBENCH logo

MSP Ultra-Low Power 16-bit RISC CPU


Integrated peripherals

The 400+ MSP devices offer high-performance peripherals including USB, RF, LCD controllers and Sigma-Delta ADCs. This allows designers to find the appropriate MSP device for many low power applications. This integration enables solutions with smaller physical footprints and reduced bill of materials costs.

Our peripherals have been designed to give you maximum functionality and provide system-level interrupts, resets and bus arbitration at the lowest power. Many peripherals may function autonomously, thereby minimizing CPU time spent in active mode. This means that MSP microcontrollers offer more performance with less power.

New on MSP432™ microcontrollers - To achieve the highest performance while maintaining low power operation, the new MSP432 microcontrollers family includes additional integrated peripherals and features including a 1MSPS 14-bit ADC, integrated LDO and DC/DC converters, independent flash banks, selectable RAM retention, Driver Libraries in ROM and 1.62 – 3.7V IO.

400+ Device configurations

Flash: Up to 512 KB

RAM: Up to 64 KB RAM

Package/Pin Count: 25+ packages, up to 113 pins

Cost effective: Low Cost Value Line microntrollers available

Innovative integration

FRAM – The future of embedded memory

Selectable RAM Retention - Save 30nA per RAM bank

CapTIvate™ capacitive touch technology – low-power, easy-to-use technology for button, wheel, slider and proximity sensing solutions

Hi-Resolution Timer – 4ns resolution

A-POOL – Configurable analog blocks

USB – Full speed 2.0

RF – Sub-1GHz (13.56, 433, 868, 915MHz)

ESP430 – Second core for eMetering algorithms

24 Bit – Sigma Delta ADC

Full peripheral set

Devices integrated with:
  • 10, 12, 14-bit ADC, up to 1MSPS
  • 24-bit Sigma Delta
  • 12-bit DAC
  • 16, 32-bit Timers
  • I2C, SPI, UART
  • LCD Driver
  • IP Protection / Secure Flash Zones
  • Independent Flash Banks
  • Watchdog Timer
  • Brown-Out Reset
  • CapTIvate Capacitive Touch Technology
  • 1.62 – 3.7V I/O
  • Real-Time Clock
  • Power Management Module
  • Integrated LDO & DC/DC converters
  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) hardware accelerator
  • Driver Libraries in ROM

For more details, visit our Analog Integration page.

Embedded FRAM

FRAM, or Ferroelectric Random Access Memory, is a type of nonvolatile memory that combines the speed, low-power, endurance, and flexibility of SRAM with the reliability and stability of flash to combine program and data into one unified memory space for the lowest power and easiest to use microcontroller architecture.

  • Low-power
  • Faster data throughput
  • Virtually unlimited write endurance
  • Designate any selection of memory as program or data

Learn more at

Power Consumption - diagram

Embedded RF

Embedded RF

The RF430 technology platform – offering the industry's lowest power, single-chip radio-frequency (RF) family for microcontroller-based applications.

By making RF design easy, small, performance-rich and power-efficient, the RF430 platform helps advance RF networking applications including industrial/building automation, asset tracking, energy harvesting, industrial monitoring and tamper detection, personal wireless networks, alarm and security systems, sports/body monitoring and automatic metering infrastructure (AMI).

Learn more about RF430

Product portfolio — Getting to know MSP

The MSP portfolio consists of over 450 devices ranging from the MSP Value Line to our highly integrated embedded FRAM microcontrollers.


Series Ultra-low-power Low-power + Performance Security + Communications
Part Number MSP430L09x Low Voltage MSP430G2x/i2x MSP430F1x MSP430F2x/4x MSP430FRxx FRAM MSP430F5x/F6X/FG6x MSP432 RF430 CC430
Max speed (MHz) 4 16 16 16 24 25 48 4 20
NVM (max KB) 0 56 120 120 128 512 256 ROM Fixed Function 32
SRAM (max KB) 2 4 10 8 2 67 64 4 4
GPIO 11 4–32 10–48 14–80 17–40 29–90 48-84 Upto 8 30–44
ADC On Select
Capacitive touch            
Op amps        
1.8-V I/O            
High-resolution timer              
Hardware encryption (AES)        
FRAM             On Select  
RF               13.56Mhz (ISO 15693 or ISO 14443B interface) Sub-1GHz

Part number decoder – Getting to know MSP

MSP430 Part Numbering Decoder Diagram

Processor family

CC = Embedded RF Radio
MSP = Mixed Signal Processor
XMS = Experimental Silicon

MSP430™ microcontroller platform

Low-power microcontroller platform

Device type
Memory type

L = No nonvolatile memory

Specialized application

AFE = Analog front end
BT = Bluetooth®
BQ = Contactless power
CG = ROM medical
FE = Flash energy meter
FG = Flash medical
FW = Flash electronic flow meter


1 Series = Up to 8 MHz
2 Series = Up to 16 MHz
3 Series = Legacy OTP
4 Series = Up to 16 MHz w/ LCD

5 Series = Up to 25 MHz
6 Series = Up to 25 MHz w/ LCD
0 = Low voltage series

Feature set

Various levels of integration within a series

Optional: A = Revision


Optional: Temperature range

S = 0°C to 50°C
I = -40°C to 85°C
T = -40°C to 105°C


Optional: Distribution format

T = Small Reel (7-in)
R = Large Reel (11-in)
No Markings = Tube or Tray

Optional: Additional features

*-Q1 = Automotive Qualified
*-EP = Enhanced Product (-40°C to 105°C)
*-HT = Extreme Temperature Parts (-55°C to 150°C)

MSP432 Part Numbering Decoder Diagram

Processor family

MSP = Mixed Signal Processor

XMS = Experimental Silicon

MSP432™ microcontroller platform

32-bit low-power microcontroller platform


P = Performance and Low-power series

Feature set

First digit

4 = Flash based devices
      up to 48-MHz

Second digit

0 = General Purpose

Third digit

1 = ADC14

Fourth digit

R = 256-kB Flash
       64-kB SRAM
M = 128-kB Flash
       32-kB SRAM

Optional: Temperature range

S = 0°C to 50°C

I = -40°C to 85°C

T = -40°C to 105°C


Optional: Distribution format

T = Small Reel (7 inch)

R = Large Reel (11 inch)

No Markings = Tube or Tray

Optional: Additional features

-EP = Enhanced Product (-40°C to 105°C)

-HT = Extreme Temperature Parts (-55°C to 150°C)

-Q1 = Automotive Q100 Qualified

Selecting a development kit — Beginning development

There are three types of MSP EVMs:

Starter kits

Starter kits are entry-level kits to get the user familiar with development on the MSP microcontrollers platform.



Experimenter’s boards

Experimenter boards feature selected MSP devices and additional hardware components for full system evaluation and prototyping.


Design kits

For the advanced developers, design kits feature target boards and a programming tool for interfacing a MSP microcontroller into your system.


Selecting a Development Kit Diagram

Starter kits—Beginning development

LaunchPad™ development kit and BoosterPack™ Plug-in module ecosystem

MSP LaunchPad development kits provide all of the hardware and software needed to get started!

  • Microcontrollers supported:
    • MSP430G2x MCU
    • MSP430F5529 MCU
    • MSP430FR2311 MCU
    • MSP430FR4133 MCU
    • MSP430FR5969 MCU
    • MSP430FR6989 MCU
    • MSP432P401R MCU
  • On-board smulation
  • On-board LEDs and buttons

LaunchPad and BoosterPack Ecosystem for MSP

Growing ecosystem of BoosterPack™ Plug-in modules

Many plug-in modules are available, with more coming soon!

Featuring capacitive touch, wireless & other technologies:
  • Capacitive touch (430BOOST-SENSE1)
  • Sub-1GHz RF (430BOOST-CC110L)
  • C5000-based capacitive touch + audio (430BOOST-AUDIO1)
  • RF430CL330H – NFC
  • CC3100 Wi-Fi® (CC3100BOOST)

Learn more

Go a little deeper with the eZ430™ development tool

Features onboard emulation and unique form factors

Embedded emulation means smaller form factors, allowing the kit to be the same size as a USB stick, and only require 2 pins for programming/debugging.

eZ430-Chronos™ development tool

  • Based on CC430
  • Sub-1GHz RF
  • Integrated sensors
  • Reprogrammable

Learn more about eZ430-Chronos™ development tool
See ALL projects available for EZ430-Chronos™ development tool

eZ430 Development Platform

Full featured evaluation: Experimenter’s boards—Beginning development

Experimenter’s boards feature select MSP microcontrollers and additional hardware components such as LCD for easy system evaluation and prototyping.  These tools are perfect for learning a new architecture or testing the capabilities of a device family.

F5529 USB experimenter’s board

  • Based on MSPF5529
  • Complete USB development kit
  • On-board emulation
  • LCD, SD card reader, captouch & more!

Buy online

See all MSP experimenter’s boards

F5529 USB Experimenter’s Board

System integration: Design kits and programmers—Beginning development

Design kits allow you to integrate a MSP microcontroller into your application and enable full system debugging. They come with everything required to complete an entire project including a target board, USB debugging and programming interface, free IDE software, MSP microcontroller samples, and cables. Target boards are breakout boards for your MSP microcontroller that include a socket for a specific package and pin count and allow you to add your own hardware. Please double check the recommended tool for the device you intend to use on the device's web page.

The MSP-FETUIF can program and debug all MSP microcontrollers when paired with the appropriate target board. Target boards are available for all MSP microcontrollers, and feature a ZIF target socket for interfacing with various pin-outs and package types.

Buy online Learn more

MSP-FET430xyz Design Kit diagram

Production programmers

Production programmers, such as the MSP-GANG are also available. These kits enable quicker time to market and can program eight targets at once!

Buy online Learn more


Selecting a development environment—Beginning development

MSP microcontrollers are supported by a complete ecosystem of software tools for beginners to experienced engineers.

See available MSP tools and software

Software Abstraction


Full Featured IDEs


Full featured IDEs

A variety of IDEs are available for more advanced software design. These environments feature full debugging capability, additional design support and optimization tools.

Code Composer Studio™ IDE for MSP
IAR Embedded Workbench Kickstart
Keil® integrated environment µVision® IDE




A simplified programming environment developed by the community to simplify coding to high level functions. Energia is an open-source electronics prototyping platform for LaunchPad™ development kit that is based on the wiring language.

Immediate access to all design resources with MSPWare

  • Sleek and intuitive GUI for navigating code examples, docs, APIs and other resources
  • Instantly filter resources by device, development tool or software library
  • Less time searching equals less time developing. MSPWare is your one stop shop for low-power microcontroller development.

Download now

Learn more

Become an microcontroller expert in minutes with MSP Driver Library

  • Faster time to market with abstracted API library that eliminates bitwise programming
  • Enable, configure and use MSPF5xx/6xx microcontroller peripherals with easy-to-understand function calls
  • Detailed documentation enables customers to go beyond “Hello World” and into real application development.

Create designs in familiar development environments

  • MSPWare is FREE and is available as a plug-in for CCSv6, IAR, and as a standalone executable.
  • Easily import code examples to CCS and read documentation from within MSPWare for a seamless learning and development environment
  • The complete MSP software ecosystem also features graphical configuration tools, RF and USB software resources and ULP Advisor™ software.

Peripheral configuration—Advanced development

MSP Driver Library

  • Functional coding of peripherals rather than bitwise programming
  • Intuitive function calls & parameters means spending less time reading datasheets
  • Write entire applications using Driver Library
  • Code examples for all MSPF5xx/6xx microcontroller
  • Minimal overhead
  • MSP432P4xx microntroller

Peripheral Configeration - MSP Driver Library

ULP Advisor™ software: Optimize your code for low-power—Advanced development

  • Checks your code against an MSP ULP checklist
  • Rules have been created and verified by industry low-power experts
  • The ULP Advisor software wiki includes a description of each rule, proposed remedies, code examples and links to related E2E™ online community
  • ULP Advisor software is FREE and is available as a plug-in for Code Composer Studio™ IDE, or a standalone command-line tool for other IDE support

Each rule has detailed guidance:

  • Impact if left unattended
  • Remedy (if needed)
  • Code examples
  • Documentation/related resources
  • Videos
  • E2E online community & more

Learn more

ULP Advisor

EnergyTrace™ software

EnergyTrace software implements a new method for measuring energy consumed in your MSP microcontroller application. Using Code Composer Studio™ IDE version 6 or newer, in combination with specialized debuggers, it enables power profiling on all MSP microcontrolles. When using specialized devices with EnergyTrace+™ software support, users can also view CPU state to enable quicker debugging of system power. Furthermore, devices with EnergyTrace++™ software support also enable peripheral state visibility.

Find the power black holes in your system

SYS/BIOS: Real time operating system for MSP—Advanced Development

As MSP microcontrollers expand to larger memory footprints and high integration, an real time operating system can provide deterministic timing to your application and ensures that the highest priority thread is executed.

Learn more and download software
Explore additional tools and software solutions


RealTime Operating System (RTOS) for MSP Scheduler diagram

RealTime Operating System (RTOS) for MSP Scheduler diagram

Application specific libraries —Advanced development

In addition to developer support tools like MSPWare and ULP Advisor™ software, Texas Instruments offers a number of application specific libraries and tools to make the development process easier.

CapTIvate capacitive touch technology

CapTIvate™ capacitive touch technology

The CapTIvate Design Center GUI allows developers of button, wheel, slider and proximity sensing solutions to drag and drop sensors for quick system configuration and start tuning for performance in five minutes or less. The CapTIvate Design Center supports MSP MCUs with CapTIvate technology.

Learn more about MSP MCUs with CapTIvate technology

For information on support for older capacitive touch devices, see the capacitive touch sense library

IQMath Library Image

Optimized math libraries for MSP microcontrollers

Improve the math performance of MSP with our free libraries. IQmathLib for MSP is perfect for those applications that care about performance or conserving power. This library can offer 100x the performance for commonly used fixed point functions. For those interested in floating point math, MSPMATHLIB offers up to 26x better performance.

Learn more about MSPMATHLIB Floating Point Math Library

Learn more about IQmathLib Fixed Point Math Library

RF Development image

RF Development

Cut the cable with RF on all MSP microcontrollers and add wireless to your application with ease support for protocols including NFC, Sub 1GHz and Bluetooth®. Explore the ecosystem at

Learn more

Additional development resources — Advanced development

Download code examples

Get familiar with MSP microcontrollers today using code examples available for a variety of applications.




There are several training and support options available so you have all information you need to successfully develop with MSP microcontrollers. With a variety of in-person, hands-on workshops and online presentations to our E2E™ online community  where you can chat with peers and experts.

MSP Design Workshop
View MSP videos on our YouTube page


MSP Wiki

Visit the MSP wiki for additional technical information and sample projects. This is a great place to learn and contribute knowledge.

MSP Design Workshop


E2E™ Online Community

Search for solutions, get help, share knowledge and solve problems with fellow engineers and TI experts.

View E2E online community



43oh is an online community dedicated to MSP. Tap into the community for MSP news, projects and forums.

Low-power microcontrollers (MCUs) from Texas Instruments (TI) are RISC-based, mixed-signal processors that include smart analog and digital peripherals and offer a number of additional options such as low-power embedded RF and security such as AES encryption. TI provides robust design support for the low-power MCUs including technical documents, training, and the hardware and software tools you need to get started today!