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'[PIC]: MSP430 question'
2003\02\19@100215 by Roman Black

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Does anyone here have real working experience with
the MSP430 chips?? Specifically re operating
speed/power as compared to a PIC? Having browsed
the datasheet and instruction set i'm still confused
as to how many clock cycles/mips etc and how an
MSP430 at 8MHz xtal might compare to a PIC 14-bit
core at 20MHz xtal.

And any experiences with the low price end of the
range, pref OTP etc. I've seen the TI website
claim of "prices starting at $0.49" but i've not
seen a lot of evidence to back that up yet.
Arrow says lowest price part is F1101A flash at
$1.27 for 1000q, but the TI web site mentions
OTP parts although vaguely. :o)
-Roman

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2003\02\19@103045 by hael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

A heretic, kill him! :o)  You didn't even change the tag to [OLM]  (other
lesser micros)!

I admitt to having glanced at the datasheet and talked to the TI rep, and
the MSP devices did seem to offer remarkably low power consumption compared
to the PIC.  I was overly interested as the PIC's power consumption is a
tiny fraction of our total products power.

Mike

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2003\02\19@140941 by Matt Pobursky

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Roman,

I just completed a design conversion for a client from a PIC16C926 to
MSP430F437. My experience was very positive -- about the same BOM cost,
now have 32K Flash, 1K RAM, MUCH better development tools and hardware
debugging from the JTAG interface and best of all more than doubled the
battery life of the unit. Would have done better than that, except we
have one sensor whose baseline current can't be reduced.

I haven't done any "paying" projects with the smaller devices, but I do
have a starter kit for the MSP430F1232 part. You might want to purchase
one of these from TI, they are less than $100 and include a proto board
with ZIF socket and access to all I/O pins, unlimited assembler, 4K
code limited C compiler, JTAG programming/debug pod and cable. A really
good way to give one a "test drive".

As a general observation, I've found the code space used to be about
equivalent between the two families. The MSP430 CPU is highly
orthogonal so many things that take a couple instructions with the PIC
can be accomplished in one instruction for the MSP430. The MSP430 has a
real stack, pointers (all 16 bit), a linear address space, program
memory accessible to the CPU, low interrupt latency and of course a 16-
bit CPU. The peripheral modules are roughly equivalent, but I've found
that TI's more advanced peripheral modules are much nicer than the PICs
(much more versatile in low power modes -- you can do a LOT of things
with the MSP430 and no CPU intervention and while in low power mode).
To get the absolute lowest power consumption, you have to adopt a bit
of a different mindset from the PICs. But I will vouch for the fact you
can get extremely low power consumption from the MSP430.

I haven't measured direct performance vs. PIC, but my current project
runs the CPU at 1.048576 MHz and the performance is noticeably better
than the 4 MHz PIC in several areas (math mostly, owing to the 16 bit
CPU) and about equivalent on the rest.

I could probably run a few quick test programs on the MSP430F1232 board
and send you the results if you are interested. Contact me off-list, if
so.

I really like these parts. This was the first project in a long time
that I had no development tool or chip-related hassles. I've been doing
professional development work for almost 25 years now and this is the
first family of chips I can remember being excited about in many years.
They won't make me give up using PICs when appropriate, but when all
other things are equal, I'd pick the MSP430 parts -- even over the 18F
family of parts.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

On Thu, 20 Feb 2003 01:47:48 +1100, Roman Black wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2003\02\19@141436 by Matt Pobursky

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Oh, I also forgot to mention -- our fellow PIClister, Tsevan at Olimex
has some very nice inexpensive MSP430F family prototype boards and JTAG
tools. They are essentially exactly what TI sells, but less expensive.
You could purchase them from him for less than $50US and download the
software from TI's web site or get a distributor/sales rep to provide
the MSP430 CDROM to you.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

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2003\02\20@090216 by Roman Black

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Thanks Matt for the info. Sorry to other list members
that i'm suggesting "heresy" but i'm getting annoyed at
Microchip for seemingly ignoring Moore's law. Seems the
lowest cost PIC a few years back was a 12c508 and little
has changed! I love the idea of the new PIC 18 series
but we're not seeing many of them under $1. In cases
where you don't need fancy USARTs, ADCs etc but need a
lot of processing power for min $$ Microchip don't seem
to care.

> I just completed a design conversion for a client from a PIC16C926 to
> MSP430F437. My experience was very positive -- about the same BOM cost,
> now have 32K Flash, 1K RAM, MUCH better development tools and hardware
> debugging from the JTAG interface and best of all more than doubled the
> battery life of the unit. Would have done better than that, except we
> have one sensor whose baseline current can't be reduced.

Excellent. :o)

> I haven't done any "paying" projects with the smaller devices, but I do
> have a starter kit for the MSP430F1232 part. You might want to purchase
> one of these from TI, they are less than $100 and include a proto board
> with ZIF socket and access to all I/O pins, unlimited assembler, 4K
> code limited C compiler, JTAG programming/debug pod and cable. A really
> good way to give one a "test drive".

Sounds nice. I'm more interested in the $0.49 claim
and really don't need the peripherals, but will
check out the F1232. Nice to get a 4k C compiler too.

> As a general observation, I've found the code space used to be about
> equivalent between the two families. The MSP430 CPU is highly
> orthogonal so many things that take a couple instructions with the PIC
> can be accomplished in one instruction for the MSP430. The MSP430 has a
> real stack, pointers (all 16 bit), a linear address space, program
> memory accessible to the CPU, low interrupt latency and of course a 16-
> bit CPU.

Yep, very nice! :o)

> The peripheral modules are roughly equivalent, but I've found
> that TI's more advanced peripheral modules are much nicer than the PICs
> (much more versatile in low power modes -- you can do a LOT of things
> with the MSP430 and no CPU intervention and while in low power mode).

Yep, I noticed some nice options with the clocks
and timers, 430 definitely seems more adjustable with
the peripherals.

> To get the absolute lowest power consumption, you have to adopt a bit
> of a different mindset from the PICs. But I will vouch for the fact you
> can get extremely low power consumption from the MSP430.

Low power is great, but at this point i'm still more
interested in max processing power for the $$.

> I haven't measured direct performance vs. PIC, but my current project
> runs the CPU at 1.048576 MHz and the performance is noticeably better
> than the 4 MHz PIC in several areas (math mostly, owing to the 16 bit
> CPU) and about equivalent on the rest.

Excellent feedback, thank you Matt. So since the 430
will do 5MHz on *internal* clock, (zero xtal costs)
that's more than 6x faster than a PIC on internal clock.
And from a cheaper micro...

> I could probably run a few quick test programs on the MSP430F1232 board
> and send you the results if you are interested. Contact me off-list, if
> so.

Thanks a LOT for the offer, but it's probably better
for me to get a 430 kit myself and run my intended app
on it, saves you hassle and gives me more accurate
results for my exact app. But I do appreciate that
very nice offer! :o)

> I really like these parts. This was the first project in a long time
> that I had no development tool or chip-related hassles.

That's good, i'm a bit annoyed that the 430F1101 datasheet
is quite rough and sketchy compared to the PIC ones. The
TI web page is a bit of a let down too, based on a quick
browse.

> I've been doing
> professional development work for almost 25 years now and this is the
> first family of chips I can remember being excited about in many years.
> They won't make me give up using PICs when appropriate, but when all
> other things are equal, I'd pick the MSP430 parts -- even over the 18F
> family of parts.

Excellent info Matt, thank you. :o) When it comes to
bang for the buck the 430 might be a good one. It's
such a shame Microchip don't care about the low end
of the market. If they stuck a decent 16bit timer in the
16c505 (ala 12F675) and bumped it to 5mips on internal
clock, then dropped the price to $0.50 i'd be satisfied
even though it is still less powerful than a 430.
Sure the 12F675 is nice but again it's a case of adding
new peripherals and keeping the price up, rather than
introducing a lower-cost part with minimum features.
Surely I can't be the only designer wanting a fast
CHEAP micro?? Unless they do something soon i'm really
feeling like jumping ship. More and more i'm thinking
that PICs are for hobby use and not for "real"
production. :o(
-Roman

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2003\02\20@100608 by Olin Lathrop

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> Excellent info Matt, thank you. :o) When it comes to
> bang for the buck the 430 might be a good one. It's
> such a shame Microchip don't care about the low end
> of the market. If they stuck a decent 16bit timer in the
> 16c505 (ala 12F675) and bumped it to 5mips on internal
> clock, then dropped the price to $0.50 i'd be satisfied
> even though it is still less powerful than a 430.
> Sure the 12F675 is nice but again it's a case of adding
> new peripherals and keeping the price up, rather than
> introducing a lower-cost part with minimum features.
> Surely I can't be the only designer wanting a fast
> CHEAP micro?? Unless they do something soon i'm really
> feeling like jumping ship. More and more i'm thinking
> that PICs are for hobby use and not for "real"
> production. :o(

There is certainly a place for the "cheap as possible" micro, but
Microchip has to go where the money is.

I don't know how representative the applications that come my way are, but
I find myself often wishing for more peripherals in a smaller package.
I've used a 17C752 at least twice now just because I needed two UARTs in
the same chip.  I would like things like a 16F628 with two UARTS and 8K of
code space.  The few applications I've had where an 8 pin part was
sufficient, the speed of the 12C508A has also been good enough.

Microchip had planned an 8 pin 18F part a year or two ago, but the project
was aborted.  I was told that was because they determined there wasn't a
sufficient market for a high function 8 pin part.  At the time I had no
personal experience that pointed otherwise.  They developed the 12F628/675
instead.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

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2003\02\21@104947 by Alan B. Pearce

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>I've seen the TI website claim of "prices starting at $0.49"
>but i've not seen a lot of evidence to back that up yet.

I have just been glancing through the Feb 6 copy of EDN, and the TI advert
in there suggests MSP430F437 at $4.90/1k (least it says "Price 1k") which I
take to be 49c each.

Also in this edition, the Design Ideas has a nifty idea for those of you
doing critical things and wanting power to be dropped off if the micro locks
up. See the first idea in the file at
www.e-insite.net/ednmag/index.asp?layout=issueTOC&pubdate=2%2F6%2F200
3 (scroll down and you can get each idea as an html, or the lot as a pdf).

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2003\02\21@105952 by Roman Black

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Alan B. Pearce wrote:
>
> >I've seen the TI website claim of "prices starting at $0.49"
> >but i've not seen a lot of evidence to back that up yet.
>
> I have just been glancing through the Feb 6 copy of EDN, and the TI advert
> in there suggests MSP430F437 at $4.90/1k (least it says "Price 1k") which I
> take to be 49c each.


That 430 model has 32kb rom, 1k ram, 256byte eeprom,
ADC etc etc. It's one of the higher end models and
i'm guessing the price you saw is $4.90 EACH in
1000q lots. :o)
-Roman

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2003\02\21@110622 by Alan B. Pearce

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>That 430 model has 32kb rom, 1k ram, 256byte eeprom,
>ADC etc etc. It's one of the higher end models and
>i'm guessing the price you saw is $4.90 EACH in
>1000q lots. :o)

Yeah I did wonder, which is why I put the rider in brackets about how the
advert is worded. Not knowing the normal pricing of these I guessed, and
figured I could be guessing wrong, but mentioned it as someone was enquiring
recently. :)))

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2003\02\21@111204 by Mike Harrison

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On Fri, 21 Feb 2003 15:49:33 -0000, you wrote:

>>I've seen the TI website claim of "prices starting at $0.49"
>>but i've not seen a lot of evidence to back that up yet.
>
>I have just been glancing through the Feb 6 copy of EDN, and the TI advert
>in there suggests MSP430F437 at $4.90/1k (least it says "Price 1k") which I
>take to be 49c each.
You take wrong. This notation means $4.90 each, in quantities of 1000

If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.

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2003\02\21@111411 by Roman Black
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Alan B. Pearce wrote:

> I have just been glancing through the Feb 6 copy of EDN, and the TI advert
> in there suggests MSP430F437 at $4.90/1k



I think I found it here (cut and pasted);
------------------
Texas Instruments'  MSP430C1101 microcontroller has a power consumption
as low as 0.7 5A in standby mode and 1.3 5A active. It  is available for
$0.49 in high-volume and is 100 percent compatible with all existing
MSP430 family members. The new MSP430C1101 includes 1kB of ROM, 128
bytes of RAM, a watchdog timer, 3-channel multi-function 16-bit
pulse-width modulation (PWM) Timer_A and an analog comparator that
supports high-precision analog-to-digital conversion for cost sensitive
applications. Eliminating the need for software intensive polling
commonly used with other low-cost MCUs, the MSP430C1101 like other
high-end MSP430 derivatives, also offers vectored interrupt capability
on every I/O pin and with every peripheral supporting sophisticated
event-driven operation. <p>

A flexible clock system with five low-power modes enables the MSP430
family4s low-power performance. Engineers can tune system clocking to
exactly meet the requirements for their application. For example, the
new MSP430C1101 delivers the industry4s lowest current consumption of
1.3 micro-amps active at 4 kHz, especially useful when considering that
the device is performing true 16-bit instructions.  For high-performance
applications, an integrated digitally controlled oscillator (DCO) or
external high-speed crystal can be used to clock the system at 160
micro-amps per million instructions per second (MIPS). For very cost
sensitive applications the device can operate from the DCO with no
external components. The operating voltage of the new MSP430x11x1
product-line is 1.8-3.6V with up to 8 MIPS of performance available on
demand. <p>

For development, a $49 Flash Emulation Tool (FET) MSP-FET430X110 is
available now. The FET supports real-time in-system development
accessing the Flash devices embedded emulation capability. The tool
comes complete with a JTAG interface target board and Flash devices as
well as a complete IDE including a debugger, assembler/linker and 4kB
IAR C-Compiler. <p>
------------------

Sorry for the long (heretic?) post. :o)
I was quoted $1.27 USD for the MSP430F1101, the flash
rom version in 1000q. The 430C1101 is either OTP or
mask programmed, i'm still waiting on the agent to get
back to me with more details.
-Roman

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2003\02\21@113941 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 03:49 PM 2/21/2003 +0000, you wrote:
> >I've seen the TI website claim of "prices starting at $0.49"
> >but i've not seen a lot of evidence to back that up yet.
>
>I have just been glancing through the Feb 6 copy of EDN, and the TI advert
>in there suggests MSP430F437 at $4.90/1k (least it says "Price 1k") which I
>take to be 49c each.

It means you (supposedly) can get 1,000 pieces for $4,900 + any tax and
shipping. Digikey wants $5,825, and US $28,426 for 5,000 pieces ($5.69 each)
so shop around. ;-)

BTW, $4.90 for 1,000 pieces would be 0.49 cent each, you can't get much
more than a diode for that. ;-)

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
RemoveMEspeffTakeThisOuTspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
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2003\02\21@115129 by Spehro Pefhany

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A
>Sorry for the long (heretic?) post. :o)
>I was quoted $1.27 USD for the MSP430F1101, the flash
>rom version in 1000q.

This one was advertised at $0.99.

>The 430C1101 is either OTP or
>mask programmed, i'm still waiting on the agent to get
>back to me with more details.

http://www.e-insite.net/ecnmag/index.asp?layout=article&articleid=CA240724

why wait:

http://www-s.ti.com/sc/ds/msp430c1101.pdf

It's mask ROM, and the $0.49 advertised price is in "high volume".

If you get a quote on the MOQ, lead time, and mask charge, I'd like to know,
offlist  if you'd prefer, as this certainly isn't a [PIC]:

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
spamBeGonespeffspamBeGonespaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
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