Microcontrollers (MCU)

MSP430 ultra-low-power MCUs – Applications

Factory automation

Industrial sensing and communications

As modern process control systems become increasingly more complex, so does the requirement for embedded processing within individual sensor units. Whether it be for localized data analysis or to support the growing need for digital communication protocols, many sensor manufacturers are now including an MCU within the sensor node to enable additional features.

Recent innovations in the wireless communication arena are helping to drive growth within the field of wireless sensor networks, when coupled with new energy harvesting techniques, wireless sensor networks are becoming an everyday reality in remote sensing applications that include motor condition monitoring.

Industrial Process Control System

Differentiators

  • The lowest active and standby mode power profile
    • < 100 µA/MHz active mode
    • < 500 nA RTC standby mode
    • Power optimized integrated analog
  • FRAM write speeds and endurance enable storage and analysis of more data over time
  • Patent pending Compute Through Power Loss (CTPL) software library revolutionizes context save and restore
  • Extended temperature options available
  • CapTIvate™ technology with 0.9µA/button with 10V rms noise immunity and support for metal overlays

Benefits

  • Reduced maintenance and replacement costs
    • Battery operation > 10yrs
    • Battery free operation when paired with the bq25570 Energy Harvesting IC
  • Smarter decisions enabled based on a larger set of data
  • Quick wakeup with intelligent system-state restoration after unexpected power loss
  • Run in harsh environmental conditions
  • Reduce false detects for capacitive touch designs, enable battery life over 15 years and support water-proof, glove-friendly designs

System block diagram

Related application notes and technical documents:

Energy harvesting, alternative energy and renewable energy

Reducing peak and average current consumption with the world’s lowest-power microcontrollers, TI is opening the door to new applications that were not feasible with traditional battery powered systems. Pairing with battery management solutions such as the bq25570 Energy Harvesting IC, applications ranging from a clock powered with a grape, sensors on a bridge powered by vibration, or sensors for wireless monitoring of a farm or winery powered by light, TI along with leading energy harvesting vendors, is creating a complete ecosystem allowing designers to not only envision but also create a battery-free world.

Solar power

Differentiators

  • Lowest active and standby mode power profile
    • < 100 uA/MHz active mode
    • < 500 nA RTC standby mode
  • High precision integrated analog peripherals enable true system on chip designs
  • Integrated USB peripheral simplifies direct computer connection for data download or analysis purposes

Benefits

  • Low leakage systems helps in improving efficiency and throughput with the renewable sources
  • Scalable portfolio enables easy software portability for various applications

System block diagram

Related documentation:

Building automation

Access control and security

MSP microcontrollers are designed to meet upcoming needs for applications like occupancy and  intruder detectors, electronic access control and capacitive touch applications . These low-power microcontrollers have unique analog capabilities to address multiple sensing topologies and supports RFID, NFC technologies.

Access control and security

Differentiators

  • Ultra-low-power – Active mode: 100 uA/MHz
  • Energy Trace++™ software
  • Capacitive touch IO capability and software library
  • NFC software and ROM controllers
  • CapTIvate™ technology with 0.9µA/button with 10V rms noise immunity and support for metal overlays

Benefits

  • Cost efficient with minimum external components
  • Long battery life
  • Accurate and efficient power monitoring
  • Reliable and fail safe mode operation
  • Reduce false detects for capacitive touch designs, enable battery life over 15 years and support water-proof, glove-friendly designs

System block diagram

Related documentation:

Fire and smoke detectors

A smoke detector is a device that senses smoke, typically as an indicator of fire. Commercial and residential security devices issue a signal to a fire alarm control panel as part of a fire alarm system, while household detectors, known as smoke alarms, generally issue a local audible or visual alarm from the detector itself.

Smoke detectors are typically housed in a disk-shaped plastic enclosure about 150 mm (6 in) in diameter and 25 mm (1 in) thick, but the shape can vary by manufacturer or product line. Most smoke detectors work either by optical detection (photoelectric) or by physical process (ionization), while others use both detection methods to increase sensitivity to smoke. Sensitive alarms can be used to detect, and thus deter, smoking in areas where it is banned. Smoke detectors in large commercial, industrial, and residential buildings are usually powered by a central fire alarm system, which is powered by the building power with a battery backup. However, in many single-family detached and smaller multiple family housings, a smoke alarm is often powered only by a single disposable battery.

MSP430™ microcontrollers are used very popularly in these applications to get highest battery lifetime ( >10yrs ) with its ultra-low-power features and cost optimization with integrated analog features like built-in operational amplifiers and ADC.

Fire detector

Differentiators

  • Crystal less operation with integrated HF oscillator
  • Low leakage internal transimpedance amplifier
  • ‹2uA average power consumption
  • FRAM helps for faster programming and high volume manufacturing

Benefits

  • Ultra-low-power for 10yr+ battery life
  • Small form factor for size constraints
  • Integrated analog functionality for cost effective, single chip implementation
  • Voice band , audio playback functionality – ready design

System block diagram

Related documentation:

Glass break detectors

A glass break detector is a sensor used in an electronic burglar alarm that detects if a pane of glass is shattered or broken. These sensors are commonly used near glass doors or glass store-front windows to detect if an intruder broke the glass and entered. Glass break detectors usually use a microphone, which monitors any noise or vibrations coming from the glass. If the vibrations exceed a certain threshold (that is sometimes user selectable) they are analyzed by detector circuitry. Simpler detectors simply use narrowband microphones tuned to frequencies typical of glass shattering, and react to sound above certain threshold, whereas more complex designs compare the sound analysis to one or more glass-break profiles using signal transforms similar to DCT and FFT and react if both the amplitude threshold and statistically expressed similarity threshold are breached.

MSP microcontrollers are designed to optimize Glass break detector applications via a cost effective single chip implementation with lower power and robust algorithm for reference.

Broken glass detector

Differentiators

  • Higher processing requirements at lower power with LEA
  • Higher security with AES256, regional secure zones
  • 14-bit high speed ADC for advance capture algorithms and improved performance

Benefits

  • Ultra-low-power for 10yr+ battery life
  • Small form factor for size constraints with single chip implementation
  • Ready reference design & software - robust algorithms for false trigger and detections

System block diagram

Related documentation:

Electronic locks

Electronic locks are combination of a  mechanical and electronic fastening device that is released by a physical object (such as a key, keycard , keypads via a combination of numbers, fingerprint , RFID card, security token etc.), by supplying secret information (such as a code or password), or by a combination.

MSP430™ microcontrollers are ideally suited for these applications to optimize lower power performance increasing the battery life and better security, data logging features for added intelligence with FRAM Technology.

Electronic door lock

Differentiators

  • AES256 & IP encapsulation for enhanced security
  • FRAM for firmware upgrades and data logging
  • CapTIvate™ technology with 0.9µA/button with 10V rms noise immunity and support for metal overlays

Benefits

  • Ultra-low-power for 10yr+ battery life
  • Small form factor for size constraints
  • Communication stacks availability – NFC, 6LoWPAN, SimpleLink™ portfolio, etc
  • Reduce false detects for capacitive touch designs, enable battery life over 15 years and support water-proof, glove-friendly designs

System block diagram

Occupancy, motion detectors

Occupancy or motion detectors are essentially sensing applications which encompasses a range of technologies for detecting a presence of human body in an area of space, typically without the intentional participation of the detected person. A variety of sensing technologies are used like Infra-red, ultrasound, acoustic, image recognition…etc. Appropriate application spaces are offices, classrooms, conference rooms, rest rooms, storage areas, corridors…etc primarily for optimizing energy consumption i.e. to conserve and save electrical power. MSP microcontrollers with its ultra-low-power features are well suited for these application with integrated analog function and advance security features.

Occupancy, motion detectors

Differentiators

  • AES256 and IP encapsulation for enhanced security
  • FRAM for firmware upgrades and data logging
  • 14-bit high speed ADC for advance capture algorithms and improved performance

Benefits

  • Low-power for simpler power supplies
  • Small form factor for size constraints
  • Integrated analog functionality for multiple sensor inputs (PIR, thermopile, Inductive ...etc.)
  • Communication stacks availability (6LoWPAN, SimpleLink, KNX ...etc.)

System block diagram

Related documentation:

Thermostats

A thermostat is a component of a control system which senses the temperature and maintains it near a desired set-point. The thermostat does this by switching heating or cooling devices on or off, or regulating the flow of a heat transfer fluid as needed, to maintain the correct temperature. A thermostat may be a control unit for a heating or cooling system or a component part of a heater or air conditioner. Thermostats can be constructed in many ways and may use a variety of sensors to measure the temperature. The output of the sensor then controls the heating or cooling apparatus. A thermostat may switch on and off at temperatures either side of the setpoint. This prevents equipment damage from frequent switching.

MSP430™ microcontrollers with ultra-low-power and inbuilt LCD driving capability are suited for these applications to give higher battery lifetime and visual indications with higher contrast LCD display.

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Differentiators

  • FRAM for firmware upgrades and data logging.
  • Captouch functionality for better user interface.
  • CapTIvate™ technology with 0.9µA/button with 10V rms noise immunity and support for metal overlays

Benefits

  • Ultra-low-power for higher battery lifetime.
  • Integrated LCD drive functionality for large displays.
  • Integrated low-power Real Time Clock peripheral.
  • Reduce false detects for capacitive touch designs, enable battery life over 15 years and support waterproof, glove-friendly designs.

System block diagram

Related documentation:

Grid infrastructure

MSP microcontrollers are designed to meet higher accuracy and reliability needs for smart grid infrastructure products like circuit breakers, self powered protection relays and power monitors. These low-power microcontrollers have unique capabilities to address multiple sensing topologies and address the advanced communication requirements.

Smart grid device

Differentiators

  • Ultra-low-power – Active mode : 100uA/MHz
  • Fast start-up times < 6uS
  • High performance ADCs
  • Integrated Op-Amps
  • Accurate internal oscillators
  • Small form factors and packages

Benefits

  • Simpler power supply requirements
  • Reliable and fail safe mode operation
  • Precise power monitoring and better accuracy
  • Cost efficient with min. external components

System block diagram

Water, heat and gas flow meters

MSP-based flow meter products are designed to meet higher accuracy and achieve >20 years of battery lifetime. The enhanced peripherals support multiple sensing technologies ( like optical sensing, magnetic sensing, LC sensors and ultrasonic sensing....etc ) for flow measurement and enable multiple communication technologies for water meters and gas meters. Also, with the new FRAM technology, these low-power microcontrollers enable constant on-the-fly data logging and faster, simpler wireless firmware updates.

Water heater meter

Differentiators

  • System on chip with enhanced scan interface peripheral
  • Ultra-low-power active ( 100uA/MHz ) and standby modes ( 350nA )
  • Energy trace++™ software
  • FRAM memory
  • AES256 and true random number seed for random number generation algorithm
  • Metrology and wireless M-Bus software offering

Benefits

  • Ultra-low-power background flow measurement
  • Optimized energy based code analysis
  • Higher battery lifetime
  • Fast and reliable data logging
  • Advanced security for automated meter reading, automated meter infrastructure needs
  • Fast time to market with reference design

System block diagram

Electric meter

MSP based energy-measurement products are designed to meet or exceed ANSI C12.20 and IEC 62053 accuracy standards for smart electric meters across the entire temperature range and helps to <achieve <0.1% accuracy over 2000:1 dynamic input range for phase current .These low-power microcontrollers have unique features to support multiple sensors like Current Transformers, Shunt resistors and Rogowski Coils along with built in sophisticated peripherals to enhance system security and code/data protection to meet the smart grid requirements. Additionally, MSP microcontrollers are used for accurate and efficient power monitoring applications.

Electric meter

Differentiators

  • System on chip with 24 bit, 7 simultaneous S converters having differential inputs and  inbuilt PGAs
  • Hardware real-time clock with separate Vbat and tamper detect IO
  • Hardware AES-128 module for encryption
  • Ultra-low-power Modes with <2uA standby mode
  • Energy software library offering with DLMS support

Benefits

  • Class 0.2 Metrology Accuracy
  • Ultra-low-power for >10yrs battery life
  • Automatic Meter Reading with standard compliance
  • Reduce cases of energy theft and revenue loss due to meter tampering
  • Time to market with complete reference design

System block diagram

More applications

Blood pressure monitor

Life-critical applications

If you are interested in using TI components in life-critical applications (FDA Class III or similar), please contact the Product Information Center (PIC) for additional informationThe health benefits and early warning signs attainable through regular blood-pressure monitoring are well known. These portable pieces of equipment require precision analog measurements along with precise control functions to ensure the system operates correctly and with maximum efficiency.

Blood pressure monitor

Differentiators

  • True system-on-chip designs include high-performance analog peripherals.
  • Integrated USB peripheral simplifies direct computer connection for data download or analysis purposes.
  • CapTIvate™ technology with 0.9µA/button with 10V rms noise immunity and support for metal overlays

Benefits

  • Reduced bill of materials help to drive down overall form factor and system cost.
  • Single chip design enables faster time to market and may simplify overall design effort needed.
  • Reduce false detects for capacitive touch designs, enable battery life over 15 years and support water-proof, glove-friendly designs.

System block diagram

Pulse oximeter

A pulse oximeter is a medical device that is used to measure a patients oxygen saturation level. MSP microcontrollers provide a single chip solution for today’s designers.

Pulse oximeter

Differentiators

  • High precision integrated analog peripherals enable true system on chip designs.
  • Integrated USB peripheral simplifies direct computer connection for data download or analysis purposes.
  • CapTIvate™ technology with 0.9µA/button with 10V rms noise immunity and support for metal overlays

Benefits

  • Reduced bill of materials help to drive down overall form factor and system cost.
  • Single chip design enables faster time to market and may simplify overall design effort needed.
  • Reduce false detects for capacitive touch designs, enable battery life over 15 years and support water-proof, glove-friendly designs.

System block diagram

Heart rate monitor

Life-critical applications

If you are interested in using TI components in life-critical applications (FDA Class III or similar), please contact the Product Information Center (PIC) for additional informationFrom single-lead health and fitness heart rate monitor chest straps, Holter and event monitor systems to clinical diagnostic systems, TI’s offering of medical semiconductor products offer a wide range of solutions for many heart rate monitor applications.

Heart rate monitor

Differentiators

  • Integrated analog enables single chip solutions for many HRM applications.
  • Innovative FRAM non-volatile memory.
  • CapTIvate™ technology with 0.9µA/button with 10V rms noise immunity and support for metal overlays

Benefits

  • Single chip solutions help to optimize bill of material complexity and costs.
  • FRAM memory reduces non volatile write power, significantly extending battery life. It also enables extended data logging with near infinite write endurance.
  • Reduce false detects for capacitive touch designs, enable battery life over 15 years and support waterproof, glove-friendly designs

System block diagram

Activity tracker

MSP devices provide an ideal combination of processing performance and power consumption, enabling the latest generations of personal fitness, activity monitors and trackers to operate even longer between battery charges.

Fitness tracker watch

Differentiators

  • Innovative FRAM non-volatile memory.
  • Tiny DSBGA packages drive down physical footprint.
  • CapTIvate™ technology with 0.9µA/button with 10V rms noise immunity and support for metal overlays

Benefits

  • Extended battery life including applications where non volatile data storage is required.
  • Integrated USB peripheral simplifies data download & firmware updates.
  • Reduce false detects for capacitive touch designs, enable battery life over 15 years and support waterproof, glove friendly designs.

System block diagram

Smart medical patch

Life-critical applications

If you are interested in using TI components in life-critical applications (FDA Class III or similar), please contact the Product Information Center (PIC) for additional informationBy complimenting or even replace existing methods of gathering physiological data, the growing trend for un-obtrusive smart medical patches continues to grow. By utilizing innovative technologies such as FRAM non-volatile memory and NFC transceivers, energy harvesting battery-less systems are now a reality.

Smart medical patch

Differentiators

  • Ultra-low-power FRAM microcontrollers offer significantly lower power writes than conventional NV memories such as Flash or EEPROM.
  • Integrated AES256 encryption and decryption hardware accelerator.

Benefits

  • Enables extended battery life with no added power needed for NV storage.
  • System power can be supplied through NFC field only, enabling battery free systems.

System block diagram

Personal electronics (consumers)

Touch optimized peripherals, low-power design, and low cost make MSP microcontroller ideal for consumer and portable electronic applications. These microcontrollers can add value to a system as an always-on ultra-low-power co-processor to an applications processor. The MSP can be used to offload functions such as sensor hub, keyboard control, battery and power management, capacitive touch, haptics, and proximity detection.

Consumer electronic cellphone

Differentiators

  • The lowest active/standby mode power profile
    • < 100 µA/MHz active mode
    • < 500 nA RTC standby mode
  • .4 nsec timer D resolution
  • Capacitive touch I/O module integrated
  • Split rail 1.8 V/3.3 V options available
  • CapTIvate™ technology with 0.9µA/button with 10V rms noise immunity and support for metal overlays

Benefits

  • Low power architecture and peripherals enable extended system battery life
  • High resolution timers enable faster response time and sensitivity to support more buttons
  • Touch inputs enabled without external components
  • Directly connect to applications processors and sensors alike
  • Reduce false detects for capacitive touch designs, enable battery life over 15 years and support water-proof, glove-friendly designs

System block diagram

Blood glucose meter (open loop)

Blood glucose meters (open loop) are handheld portable medical devices used to monitor a patient’s glucose levels. Today, these meters are generally based on the amperometric measurement of an electrochemical reaction between a tiny blood sample and a specific reagent. This tiny current is converted to a voltage which is measured using an analog-to-digital converter. This measured voltage is then processed to give the user a glucose reading which is displayed and stored for downloading at a later time.

Blood glucose meter

Differentiators

  • Integrated SAR or Sigma-Delta ADC, OP-Amps, DAC’s for true SoC design.
  • Wide range of memory and peripheral configurations for a range of glucose meters.
  • CapTIvate™ technology with 0.9µA/button with 10V rms noise immunity and support for metal overlays

Benefits

  • Single chip design enables faster time to market and may simplify overall design effort needed.
  • Scalable portfolio enables easy software portability between a full range of meter products.
  • Reduce false detects for capacitive touch designs, enable battery life over 15 years and support waterproof, glove friendly designs.

System block diagram