TI LaunchPad

Develop. Make. Innovate.

  • Get started with microcontroller LaunchPad Evaluation Kits from Texas Instruments.
  • Choose from a variety of low-cost kits & BoosterPack plug-in modules.
  • Scalable software tools provide multiple points of entry for programming your LaunchPad.
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Build Your Own BoosterPack

BoosterPack plug-in modules allow you to extend the functionality of your LaunchPad and add features like wireless connectivity, capacitive touch, temperature sensing, displays and much more. Several commercially-produced BoosterPacks are available for the LaunchPad platform and can be found on our BoosterPack matrix.

If you cannot find a specific BoosterPack to fit your needs, we have made it easy for you to make your own! Use the resources on this page to create your BoosterPack design files, get support from our community and take your idea from concept to PCB to product in a few easy steps.

Start by downloading the BYOB Getting Started Pack. This zip file contains useful resources and documentation to help you build your BoosterPack from scratch.

BYOB Getting Started Pack (Zip, 14.8MB)

Design

The design phase is crucial to the success of the entire process. Before you can even begin to think about manufacturing your board, you must consider the circuit design and the features you want your BoosterPack to have. To help you reach your goal, we have provided several design tools and collaboration venues to create your BoosterPack and get it ready for manufacture.

Design reference (PDF, 963KB)

Accessibility

When finalizing the dimensions of your BoosterPack, be sure to think about easy access for underlying components on the LaunchPad (buttons, LEDs, test points, etc.)

Energia Software Libraries

Don't forget about software! Energia libraries are ideal companions to your hardware. One Energia library can potentially enable multiple LaunchPads to work with your BoosterPack. Be sure to provide the right functionality by exposing the right functions within your library. Upload your library on Git Hub!

Code examples should also be created for popular IDEs such as TI’s Code Composer Studio, or other tools.

Open Source hardware & Licenses

Be sure to be aware of the resources that you use! Also don't forget to think about the license you pubish your files under! Here are a few quick references that you may find useful.

Creative Commons license

Attribution CC BY

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accomodating of licenses offered.

Creative Commons license

Attribution CC BY-SA

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to ‘copyleft’ free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by sources such as Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly-licensed products.

Choose a Creative Commons licence

BoosterPack Combos

Want to pair with other BoosterPacks? Be sure to review the pin-outs of each BoosterPack in your BoosterPack sandwich! Things like VCC, GND, SPI and I2C can ride the same bus, however other pins may conflict as more BoosterPacks are stacked.

Enable Stack-ability

All LaunchPads and BoosterPacks must use female headers with long male leads (100 mil pitch)

stacking launchpads

Recommended parts for stackable headers:

Major League Electronics
LaunchPad Component Store
Samtec
SSW-110-23-F-S (Single row, 10x1) SSW-110-23-F-D (Double row, 10x1)

Silkscreening your PCB

Label your pins

Use your silkscreen wisely. Label pins, jumpers and other important components to improve your BoosterPack’s ease-of-use.

Rocket logo usage

If your booster complies with our pinout standard, you may place the rocket logo on your BoosterPack’s silkscreen.

Download SVG graphics (Zip, 72KB)

BoosterPack Pinout Standard

Legend

Pin function

White boxes indicate functions that are not yet availalable on any existing LaunchPads. However, these functions are defined in the standard to ‘future-proof’ the pinout.

GPIO**

Some LaunchPads do not comply with this GPIO pin (i.e. MSP-EXP430G2 LaunchPad uses this pin for programming/debugging). De-prioritize this when making a BoosterPack.

(!)

The exclamation point indicates the GPIO is interruptible.

I2C*

Most LaunchPads have true hardware enabled I2C at these pins, but some LaunchPads may not. If no hardware I2C is available a software-emulated I2C is needed to adhere to standard.

Design Collaboration

Coming up with a solid design on your own can be tough, but luckily there are many online communities that can help you. Before you begin manufacturing your BoosterPack, get some feedback from other experienced designers on the sites listed below. They are happy to give you tips on how to improve and optimize your design so that your new creation performs exactly as you want!

E2E

TI’s online forum is good for asking specific questions about all TI parts and products.

Visit site
43oh

43oh is an online community of TI MCU enthusiasts and hobbyists.

Visit site
the knode

The Knode is an online community for engineers and hobbyists.

Visit site

Upverter

Want a head start with your BoosterPack development? Try Upverter, a cloud-based hardware design tool that enables online collaboration, revision control & various import/export options to get your design off the ground as quickly as possible. Check out the BoosterPack template in the embedded widget below to start designing your BoosterPack right in your browser.

Visit Upverter (Canvas support required: Internet Explorer 9+, Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Safari)

Design Tools

Eagle

Eagle

You can download a free trial of EAGLE, a very popular hardware design tool. Most PCB manufacturers accept EAGLE designs.You can find an EAGLE BoosterPack template file here.

Template file More

Fritzing

Fritzing

Fritzing is a free and easy to use design tool to create your own schematics and designs, and they will manufacture your design using their Fritzing Fab service. Find the Fritzing BoosterPack template file here or drag in LaunchPad and BoosterPacks directly to your design.

Template file More

KiCad

kiCad

An open source, functional design tool that is very popular with professionals and hobbyists. Find the kiCad BoosterPack template here.

Template file More

Upverter

Upverter

An online and free to use open hardware design tool that allows you to easily collaborate with other hardware designers. Fork the BoosterPack template to immediately start working on your custom design.

Template file More

Altium

Altium

Popular industry design tool offering unified design software to build next generation electronic products. You can find the Altium BoosterPack template here.

Template file More

Bill of Materials

The BOM is your list of components you need to build a BoosterPack. Examples of components are resistors, op amps, LEDs, sensors, and specialized ICs (integrated circuits or “chips”). You will need a BOM so that you can order components from your PCB manufacturer or from a components supplier like element14, Digi-Key, Mouser, and many others. A sample BOM template is provided here in the BYOB Getting Started Packet. You can find an example of a real BOM here.

BOM template
Example of a BOM

Printed Circuit Board (PCB)

There are many affordable PCB manufacturers that you can hire to create your BoosterPack. There are many factors to consider when making PCBs such as lead time, the location of the factory, price, layering options, color options, and other details. Research which fabs will cater to your needs the best.

If you plan on selling your board to the market, make sure you factor in your BOM cost, the cost of manufacturing, shipping, and any other costs (selling fees, etc) that will affect your cost of build and then set your sale price accordingly. The best-selling BoosterPacks typically sell for $10-$50, anything more starts getting too expensive for LaunchPad users. You can reduce costs by optimizing your BOM costs, reducing your board size, or making larger quantities. Making larger quantities will require more upfront capital, so preselling your hardware may be a good way to raise the money you need. Check out the element14 BYOB page or Energia BYOB page to find ways to do that!

You can use this handy design guide from PCB Assembly Express to help in your PCB Design:

PCB Assembly Express design guide
PCB Assembly Express

PCB Assembly Express

Build a BoosterPack for a flat rate + cost of components. Check out the element14 BYOB page for more details.

Visit site
Elcrow

Elecrow

An affordable board manufacturer based in China.

Visit site
Seeed

Seeed Studio

Affordable board manufacturer selling through the Seeed Studio channel.

Visit site
OSH Park

OSH Park

Community-printed circuit boards with pricing based on size. Made in the USA.

Visit site

Feature your BoosterPack

Once you have built your BoosterPack and have finalized your pricing and distribution strategy, you can apply to have your BoosterPack featured on the BoosterPack section of the LaunchPad website.

Use the form below to be considered for inclusion on the BoosterPack page. If you qualify, we will send you a badge you can use to promote your presence on our site! Where appropriate, we may also mention your BoosterPack on various forums, in blog posts and maybe even display it at select TI events!

Fill out my online form.