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Choosing a MSP430 chip

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Found this nice brochure on TI's site.

 

http://focus.ti.com/lit/sg/slab034s/slab034s.pdf

 

A complete breakdown of the various msp430 chips, what peripherals they has, and what those peripherals do as well as explaining the different LPM Modes. Well, except for the most important question to us, SBW capability.

 

Interesting to note, there is quite a bit of overlapping of the MSP430G line and the MSP430F20xx line. Basically, all of the basic options (Different type of ADC on 2 parts is the only difference), except that the Valueline chips are just cheaper (And apparently, use less power too). I expect the F20xx line to be obsoleted eventually in favor of the ValueLine chips.

Edit: The F20xx line can come in better temperature rating -40 to 105c, vs -40 to 85c)

 

Aside from the MSP430G and F20xx lines which come in nice PDIP and SOIC packages, there is the MSP430F21x1 Line. Also comes in SOIC, has more gpio/flash/ram than the Gxx or F20xx lines, but no hardware UART/SPI/I2C or good ADC, but worst of all, NO SPY-BI-WIRE, ie, no launchpad/ez430 support. Avoid the MSP430F21x1 Line of chips unless you want to buy a new programmer. For the same reason, avoid the entire MSP430F1xxx Family.

 

The next step above the Gxx and F20xx line that we can use is the MSP430F21x2 line. It's like doubling a Gxxx chip. More Flash, More Ram, More GPIO, More Timer Comparators, double the Hardware Interfaces, at about three times the cost haha (1.55 in 1k volume vs the 0.52 in 1k for the G2231). They come in the smallest hobbyist friendly package, 28-TSSOP, and are SBW compatible.

 

The final line I will talk about is the MSP430F22xx line. They are basically bigger badder versions of the F21x2 line (More Ram/Flash/GPIO/Timers and a 12ch vs 10ch ADC). The F22x4 version has an a pair of opamps built in compared to the F22x2 line (20 cents more) but otherwise the same thing. The thing is that they come in a 38 pin TSSOP package. 28 pin TSSOP is the highest that I have seen in affordable dip breakout packages, so this is probably the limit for the general hobbyist unless you will etch/order custom pcbs. SBW compatible. The highest end version F227x has 32kbits of Flash, which is beyond CCS's 16kb limit. The Lower end F223x has 8kb flash, which is beyond IAR's 4kb limit. Which means you can still use them in CCS or IAR, but only up to the code limit, but you'd be paying more for using less (Unless you need to Opamps). MSPGCC has no limit.

 

There are other SBW chips, but they are in insanely small pin packages and I won't bother going through the datasheets. As well, the planned 20pin DIP chips should be SBW and Launchpad compatible as well.

 

Hopefully TI adds SBW as a searchable parameter for their search tool soon/eventually.

 

TLDR:

Launchpad/EX430 compatible lines:

G2xxx 14-DIP/SOIC (Valueline/Launchpad Standard)

F20xx 14-DIP/SOIC (But unless you have a bargain, the G2xxx line is cheaper/better imho)

F21x2 28-TSSOP (2 or 3 times as good as Valueline) IAR can only use half of the highet chip's flash.

F22xx 38-TSSOP (3 or 4 times better than Valueline) CCS can only use half of the highest chip's flash. IAR can only use half/a fourth/an eighth of the flash on the F223x/F225x/F227x respectfully.

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