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New Dev Platform for MSP430FR5969

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Hi Guys,   My name is Nathan.  I've lurked around here on 43oh a bit, but this is my first official post.  I've been working with the MSP430FR5969 for several months now and I've quickly grown to re

Hi guys.  It's been awhile since we've posted on this project, but progress has been steadily moving on.  We're working with the Rev 3 prototypes at this point and I think we're pretty close to a fina

@@spirilis - Right now the processor module has standard 0.1" headers so you can pop it on a breadboard.  We could use smaller, but the limiting factor for size is the CR2032 anyway.  IO includes 14 d

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Hi guys.  It's been awhile since we've posted on this project, but progress has been steadily moving on.  We're working with the Rev 3 prototypes at this point and I think we're pretty close to a final product.  Patrick is going to be out at the Bay Area Maker Faire next week showing them off.


We're also trying to upload stuff as it's stable to github - a few demo projects and an Android app for bluetooth:



Shurikens (daughterboards) have expanded now to include a sensor board (RGB, accel & temp), a relay board, an AC rectifier board for use with a current clamp in addition to newer revisions of the LCD, Wifi, and BTLE shurikens.


What kind of demo projects do you guys think would be best to show off the FRAM and low power capabilities of the MSP430FR5969?  Or what demos would you just like to show how it works?



Nice! Was browsing through your website yesterday.

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@@DeepBlueSky - I've had success getting an MSP430F5529 to write to an SD card, but it's running on two AA's.  SD cards can take anywhere from 30 to 100mA to drive so yea - not very practical on a limited power budget.  I doubt you could even get it to operate with the internal resistance of a coin cell.


I'm actually using external FRAM for that reason on a project at work.  Cypress makes a range of chips from 256kb? up to 2Mbit.  It's expensive compared to SD cards or even flash, but far superior to both for power efficiency and it's also a LOT faster than flash so you can write your data and go back to sleep fast.


The internal 64kB of FRAM on the FR5969 can hold a fair bit of data if you're clever about packing it in efficiently, but it's possible we'll offer external flash or FRAM add-on's in the future too.  For now most of the ideas revolve around buffering a certain amount of data internally and then either passing that on over WiFi or BTLE at regular intervals.


Regarding the LCD - it is a Sharp LS013B7DH03 128x128 graphic "Memory LCD".  It is part of the same family as the 96x96 display TI sells as a booster pack, but that panel is being discontinued.  The 128x128 display is also MUCH better contrast and as the pixel count would imply - provides more detail.  It already has a working library we've uploaded to our Storm Ninja branch of Energia - it uses most of the guts of the previous 96x96 library, but I've rewritten it to be more power efficient and added some more capabilities like supporting images from TI's image reformer utility (part of their grlib library).


We chose these specific LCD's over others because they're such insanely low power.  Try any regular LCD and you'll see it draw anywhere from several hundred uA to a few mA.  We tried using e-ink at first, but compared to the Memory LCD's it's actually a moot point.  I literally cannot measure the current draw of this screen using a 6.5 digit Rigol DM3068 DMM.  It's active spec is 50uA, but when it's idle it must consume almost nothing because it doesn't even register in the nA.  That insane power performance is what we wanted for this platform - you can leave the screen on basically indefinitely and the coin cell would last years.

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Thanks for suggesting an SD alternative. If the alternative has a much lower power consumption (or should I say the SD has too much) and doesn't have the same problems SDs have, and offers other superiorities, then I'm ok with a higher price.

Something external to which the chip writes/logs data to, which later can be transferred to PC, would be very nice (logging data so something which can be later put on PC for further processing is kind of essential).


The reason I thought about raw LCDs first is that they can have big digits, are relatively power efficient and have relatively good contrast. But if you say that the contrast of the Memory LCDs is comparable (or better?), and of course the impressive low power consumption you mentioned (I would have guessed 10x that much consumption), then a bigger version of the Memory LCD would be an alternative. The higher resolution not to forget.


When will this be available :)

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When will this be available :)

Good question.  We do not have a specific launch date in mind, but I think we are aiming at having parts ready to ship this fall.  We will most likely launch a Kickstarter campaign sometime in the next 30-60 days.  Deliveries would probably start 90-120 days after the campaign ends.  At least that's my best guess for now.


Regarding the LCD - there are a few example images posted above.  The contrast on the 128x128 screen is really excellent - it is a joy to look at:

post-38251-0-42686400-1419824693_thumb.jpg post-38251-0-99908700-1419824693_thumb.jpg post-38251-0-89377100-1419824692_thumb.jpg


Regarding external Cypress FRAM - 2Mbit is about $20, 1Mbit is about $12.



It's just a memory chip - you can format it so it can be read like a disk drive or you can read/write to it like a giant array and stream it over UART to get it to a computer - it's up to you.  It does lack the convenience of just unplugging it and plugging it into a computer I'll admit, but the speed and efficiency gains are worth it.

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You really ought to dump the Cypress FRAM part and replace it with the Fujitsu FRAM part. 


Check these parts out:

  1. MB85RS2MTPF-G-JNE2: 2Mbit FRAM, SPI, SOP8, $4.94 each
  2. MB85RS2MTPH-G-JNE1: 2Mbit FRAM, SPI, DIP8, $5.25 each
  3. MB85RC1MTPNF-G-JNE1: 1Mbit FRAM, I2C, SOP8, $3.50 each


I'm presently using the DIP8 on a protoboard and it works quite nicely.



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You really ought to dump the Cypress FRAM part and replace it with the Fujitsu FRAM part. 


Yea I looked at the Fujitsu parts, but they are not rated as well for power consumption.  

The Fujitsu spec is 10.6mA @ 25MHz.  

The Cypress spec is 1.4mA @ 40MHz / 0.13mA @ 1MHz


For the product design I'm working on at my day-job we wanted the best performance, period.  The Fujitsu part isn't rated at lower speeds so I wasn't sure how quickly - or if - the power dropped at lower speeds.  We're running it @ 8MHz and it seems to consume a few hundred uA so the Cypress part is quite good in that range.


That said - for a Storm Ninja add-on - the Fujitsu chip might be worth the power/cost trade-off.

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