TI’s ultra-low-power MSP430FR57xx FRAM microcontrollers

TI has has announced their MSP430FR57xx ultra-low-power ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) line of 16-bit microcontrollers. Their stated benefits are the ability to write data more than 100 times faster with power consumption of 250 times less than flash- and EEPROM-based microcontrollers. They are also code compatible with other MSP platforms.

The on-chip FRAM allows data retention in all power modes, supports more than 100 trillion write cycles, and delivers a new dimension of flexibility by allowing developers to partition data and programming memory with changes in software.

These chips come in several package types, including TSSOP and VQFN, and TI states samples are available. You can check the listing of chips and their specs here.

TI is taking advance orders for the $29 MSP-EXP430FR5739 Experimenter Board, which is a development platform for the MSP430FR57xx devices.

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  1. This looks really nice board for the price. Temp sensor, integrated flashing tool, accelerometer and the pins have been broken out. I wonder if the price is only temporary.

  2. Good, they are in stock now. I am pondering whether I should buy this one or the launchpad. I’ve been itching some time now to start learning to work with these low power mcus.

    I just wonder, does it have the MSP430FR5739 included on the board, or the MSP430F5529? They state: “The MSP430FR5739 device on the experimenter board…” and then after that: “Integrated MSP430F5529…” Or am I missing something?

  3. Francois,

    The TI part number for the board is “Part Number: MSP-EXP430FR5739”. The mention of the “Integrated MSP430F5529” appears only once on the product description. So I strongly suspect it is a typo and the part on the board is an MSP430F5739. You might want to verify this with them directly though.

    Also, right now these boards are not in-stock. The product page says, “Out of Stock – Please call the Product Information Center for an estimated ship date.” Did you actually see these in-stock? Did you buy one?

    Regards, David

  4. Hi David,

    I also suspected a typo, but you’re right. The only way to be sure is to confirm with TI.

    When I saw this post the first time (two days ago), it said “Out of Stock”, but when I looked yesterday, it said “In Stock” along with the shipping time (something like 48 to 72 hours). It was like that the whole day yesterday, while I was trying to decide if I wanted to buy one (i.e. convince myself to buy one). I went to the site a few times and it never showed out of stock.

    I actually did want to buy one today, but now I see the same message as you. Strange… Maybe they had problems with the site?

  5. Hi Francois, If the thing is going in and out of stock over short periods, they probably have something wrong with their e-commerce system and the way it links with their supply chain. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen new product order problems with TI. It will probably settle-down after a while, but then the lead time may be long.

  6. The board comes with an MSP430FR5739 permanently soldered on. There is a 32,768 Hertz crystal included but not on the board. If you want to use the crystal, you should also install two 12 pf 0603 capacitors, although the crystal may work fine without them.

    The board includes a USB interface compatible with the IAR JTAG debugger so you can start loading and debugging code within minutes of opening the box, no other equipment needed. The internal clock seems to be accurate to 1 or 2 percent without the crystal.

    The included software is not well done, but it sort of works and illustrates some of the features well enough.

    I have worked with FRAM/MSP430 combos before and will be pushing the limits to find what the limits are.

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