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Definition: The MSP430 is a microcontroller family from Texas Instruments.
Built around a 16-bit CPU, the MSP430 is designed for low cost, low power consumption embedded applications.
The architecture is reminiscent of the DEC PDP-11. The MSP430 is particularly well suited for wireless RF or battery powered applications.
The device comes in a variety of configurations featuring the usual peripherals: internal oscillator, timer including PWM, watchdog, USART, SPI, I2C, 10/12/14/16-bit ADCs, and brownout reset circuitry.
Some less usual peripheral options include comparators (that can be used with the timers to do simple ADC), on-chip op-amps for signal conditioning, 12-bit DAC, LCD driver, hardware multiplier, and DMA for ADC results.
Apart from some older EPROM (PMS430E3xx) and high volume mask ROM (MSP430Cxxx) versions, all of the devices are in-system programmable via JTAG or a built in bootstrap loader (BSL) using RS-232. The MSP430 is a popular choice for low powered measurement devices.
The current drawn in idle mode can be less than 1 microamp.
The top CPU speed is 16 MHz. It can be throttled back for lower power consumption.
Note that MHz is not equivalent to MIPS, and there are more efficient architectures that obtain higher MIPS rates at lower CPU clock frequencies, which can result in lower dynamic power consumption for an equivalent amount of processing.
Source: Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MSP430)
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