TI Regrooves the MSP430?

(This is the moral equivalent of a press release that is not based on anything remotely official from TI. I know NOTHING beyond what I’ve read about this subject along with a smattering of MSP430 experience. I’m sharing this because I think it might be of interest to the TriEmbed community.)

Texas Instruments has introduced a new family of microprocessors called the MSP432.  As far as I can tell they’ve combined the very sophisticated power saving modes and mature peripheral functional blocks of the MSP430 family with an ARM M4F core.  I’m writing this because the initial chips are available in a QFP package.

The initial chips come with a couple of generous flash memory/RAM sizes combinations and run at 48mhz. Claimed integer MIPS/MHz are substantially higher than with the MSP430 and current consumption from the datasheet is only 90uA/MHz. But these are probably marketing MIPS and most assuredly marketing microamperes, as they understandably assume little or no peripheral subsystem activity. (Take it from me, you can get any result you want from the Dhrystone benchmark with a good compiler).  Still, to the extent that the MSP430’s programmatic support for low power modes is present in spades with a new “power manager” function, and the fact that the chips come with ROM-code peripheral libraries to make porting from the 430 easier, this seems to be an interesting development. I view this as a smart, if not surprising move by TI.

Additional info:

TI Info page

MSP432P4xx Technical Reference Manual

MSP432P401x Mixed Signal Microcontrollers Data Sheet