Microcontrollers (MCU)

MSP430™ Ultrasonic & Mechanical Flow Sensing MCUs

Ultra-low-power, single-chip microcontrollers with integrated sensing peripherals

System-on-chip MSP430™ Ultrasonic and Performance Sensing MCUs are designed for high-accuracy water, heat and gas flow measurement applications. The MCUs feature integrated peripherals including an ultrasonic sensing analog front end, extended scan interface and DSP capabilities, and all MCUs feature a real time clock, LCD driver, 12-bit SAR ADC and comparator.

Ultrasonic sensing SoCs

  • High-precision ultrasonic flow sensing
  • Ultrasonic MCUs with integrated AFE
  • Integrated 8 MSPS sigma delta ADC
  • Metering test interface (MTIF)

Mechanical flow sensing SoCs

  • Ultra-low power extended scan interface peripheral
  • Supports up to 3 LC rotation detection sensors
  • Supports TMR, GMR, Hall-effect and optical sensors

Signal processing MCUs

  • Integrated low energy accelerator (LEA)
  • 40x the performance of ARM Cortex M0+ MCUs
  • Efficient FIR and FFT filter implementations

Ultrasonic Sensing SoCs

Why ultrasonic sensing for flow meters?

Ultrasonic sensing uses the time of flight (TOF) of an ultrasonic wave within any liquid or gas medium and its dependency on the flow rate to measure and calculate volume flow. This technique uses the difference in the propagation time of the ultrasonic wave when transmitted into and against the direction of the flow. This technology is robust and accurate in measuring volume flow rates across a wide dynamic range. It works well on fluids including water, oil and paint as well as gases including air, carbon dioxide, oxygen and methane. In addition, ultrasonic sensing provides:

  • High accuracy <±1% of flow measurement
  • No moving parts or wear and tear for longer operational life and cost effectiveness with less service/maintenance
  • Resistant to vibration, infrared radiation and EMI


TI’s waveform capture-based approach for ultrasonic sensing

Main features:

  • Real-time waveform capture using a high-speed 8MSPS sigma delta analog-to-digital converter (ADC)
  • Advanced digital signal processing with low-energy accelerator (LEA)
  • Integrated analog front end (AFE) that provides
    • Direct interface to a variety of transducers
    • Programmable pulse excitation for a wide range of transducers
    • PHY for transducer impedance matching
    • PGA for signal amplification


MSP430 ultrasonic sensing SoCs facilitate a unique waveform capture based technique, where the entire response of the transducer is captured in time domain for both the upstream and downstream conditions. Post-processing on these waveforms determine the differential TOF. Using this
technique provides:

  • Robustness to signal amplitude variation (transducer-transducer variation, different material compositions, high flow rates, noise, temperature variation etc.)          
  • Leak Detection combined with very high accuracies at low-flow rates 
  • Additional capabilities for meter diagnostics over time
    • Detects slow variation in envelop due to transducer aging, adjusts transducer-transducer resonant frequency variation
    • Eliminates periodic calibration over the lifetime of a product
  • Suppression of noise to achieve higher accuracy and reduced variations  
  • 3V drive capabilities for transducers using standard MCU voltage levels
  • Ability to extend it to material and composition analysis


Get started with MSP430 Ultrasonic Sensing MCUs

Industry's first integrated SoC for ultrasonic sensing

Unique high-speed ADC-based ultrasonic sensing technique 

  • High accuracy, high precision measurements 

  • Low power  (~ 3uA) for 1meas/ sec

  • Low flow rate detection (<1L/h) 

Ultrasonic design center

One-stop-shop for ultrasonic sensing development

  • Real-time waveform capture and plot of key parameters for added intelligence

  • Software library

  • GUI for ease of development 

EVM430-FR6047 evaluation module

Easy interface to ultrasonic transducers

  • BoosterPack™ connectors to add functionality: RF, battery management, temperature measurement, etc.

  • Power consumption analysis and LCD display capabilities 

  • On-board programming and debug

Mechanical Flow Sensing SoCs

Extended Scan Interface (ESI) is an analog-front-end (AFE) integrated in the MSP430FR6989 MCU family to automatically measure linear or rotational motion of sensors with the lowest possible power consumption. The ESI peripheral has a robust state machine to enable run-time calibration, sensor detection, etc. and directly interfaces with different types of sensors including inductive (LC), Hall-effect, magneto-resistive (GMR and TMR) and optical

For water, gas and heat meters that use conventional mechanical technologies, flow is determined by a spinning wheel that rotates at a speed proportional to the flow rate. The ESI is able to accurately measure linear or circular motion across a wide-dynamic range of flow rates and is able to work stand alone with the sensors without the intervention of the CPU to deliver measurements at the lowest power. 

Signal processing MCUs

The low-energy accelerator (LEA) module is a 32-bit hardware engine designed for operations that involve vector-based signal processing such as FIR, IIR and FFT. These operations are done without CPU intervention and triggers an interrupt when the operation is completed.

The LEA module supports multiple commands, which are issued by the CPU and performs vector math operations up to 40x faster than Arm® Cortex®-M0+ MCUs running the CMSIS DSP library and minimal energy consumption.

Technical resources

On-demand MSP430 MCU training available 24 hours a day.

System-level reference designs to help you quickly evaluate and design your MSP430 MCU-based system.

Ask questions, share knowledge and help solve problems with fellow engineers in the MSP430 TI E2E™ forum.