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Fred

Where's the MSP432 going?

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The recent deal on the MSP432 Launchpad had got me thinking. It's been out a while now. There's still only the two devices - differing only by memory size. The silicon is still listed as XMS - i.e. experimental. I'd have expected more to have happened with the MSP432 concept by now.

 

Is the sale because the final production devices will be shipping and they want to clear out the beta stock? Are more devices / boards coming? Or is it all fizzling out?

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I just looked at TI's MSP lineup again.

522 MSP430 devices

2 MSP432 devices

 

But keep in mind the MSP430 core is TI's IP, but the is a license cost associated with using the ARM CPU. I'm not sure how that's billed, if it's per chip design/revision.

It is interesting that they haven't locked it down to production ready device yet, but I suspect it will be similar to the Simplelink series.

 

2x Wifi

9x CC26x (3 devices with 3 package sizes each)

 

Both of these are multicore (App + network processor) SoC's but lack many of the options available for the MSP430 series. I suspect that by only providing limited options this will reduce the cost for devices in the future.

 

I think this is the way TI is moving forward. Since silicon prices are falling, I suspect that the majority of their commercial customer base don't need 8 different memory size options for a single device family.

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Just my 2 cents here.

 

MSP432 does not seem to go anywhere, because there is STM32L476. Both devices are fairly similar in power consumption and power saving modes. But MSP432 inherited it's peripherals from MSP430, which just feel very outdated compared to STM32L476 (actually also a massive step back from TM4C). And there is just starts. The TI product goes only up to 48MHz wth 256kB flash, the ST product can go up to 80MHz with 1024kB flash. The ST product has dedicated SAI support was well as a PDM decoder for MEMS microphones ... Ah, and the ST product has a CODE/DATA cache (mislabled IMHO as ART Accelerator ;-)). The only thing that I can see the TI product having going for it is the 14bit SAR ADC. 

 

I simply suspect that either TI went back to the drawing board, or gave up.

 

Ah, and there is this issue. A TM4C123GH6PM costs $6.23 in units of 1000. A similar STM32F401 is to be had for $3.54. That implies that the TI product is probably price wise nowhere near the competition.

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I don't think the MSP432 is supposed to be a direct competitor to the STM32F401, rather it appears to be a "path of least resistance" for current MSP430 processors to take, instead of jumping ship to another supplier when the boss tells them their next product has to be more powerful.

 

Familiarity with the tools, and the peripherals, and the ecosystem will be a big attraction to someone who is looking to move up to a 32 bit architecture. I think it will definitely appeal to MSP430 users.

 

I'm not sure that you're going to find more advanced peripherals in the MSP432. as TI has several other ARM offerings that cover that territory. What I think we might see is MSP432 with FRAM at some point. 

 

Keep in mind that we've only seen one offering so far in the MSP432 lineup, and from the looks of it this may be a type of "basic" offering that was put out so that the compiler and tool developers had a framework to adapt their products to the new architecture. When MSP432 is officially released, we may find there are more flavors with more or less memory, higher clock speed, or other goodies.

 

We just don't know, and can't speculate on price at this time either.

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I suppose only time will tell. Either we'll see more MSP432s coming this year to gradually replace the Tiva line, or we'll see more Tivas being announced. Continuing with both lines long term would seem like an odd idea.

 

I was tempted to grab a couple of the $4.32 deals, but resisted. I've got one from the original release and still not got round to using it. Whether there's more MSP432s on the way or not I can probably manage without another of these. Personally, I'd like to see something like a MSP432 Connected LaunchPad.

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Thanks for the clarification, Mark. It did seem likely that the MSP432 was the direction that TI was taking, but it's good to know for sure. (I ended up tagging a few more 432s on the back of an order for the CC2650 LaunchPad anyway.)

 

Antarctica? It sounds like you could be testing the limits of that -40C spec!

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I notice there is a switch to use CMSIS for driverlib planned for March. I wonder if that may coincide with any other announcements? (All this wild speculation reminds me of the time just before the MSP432 was announced.)

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I want to see some clever people make a Flight Controller for R/C planes/copters using the MSP432 and Ti/RTOS. I'd also like to see a 3D printer logic board using one as well.

 

Other than that, I'd like to see something to supersede the Arduino based on this chip. Arduino is too slow.

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Pretty much everything supersedes the Arduino. Why anyone would want to use that abomination of an IDE and miss out on features like proper debugging is beyond me.

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I'm not 100% positive, but from what I can see, the $4.32 promotion price on the MSP432 Launchpad may have had the result that TI desired. I see a lot more people asking MSP432 related questions on this forum and elsewhere, since the promotion.

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