MSP430 is a family of 16 bit ultra-low power microcontroller by Texas Instruments launched during the late 90’s.TI has since launched many series like 1xxx,2xxx,etc. the recent ones being 5x’s and 6x’s.The key features of these controllers are :
>> up to 6 low power modes while consuming as low as 0.8-µA .
>> wake up time as good as 6 micro seconds.
>> 16-bit RISC CPU with 27 RISC instructions and 24 emulated CISC instructions.
>> Orthogonal architecture with seven addressing modes(including atomic addressing).
>> 12-bit or 10-bit ADC — 200 ksps
>> 12-bit dual-DAC
>> Supply voltage supervisor and Brown out reset circuit.
>> Watchdog timer.
>> built-in Lcd drivers in recent versions.
Every new series in the family is accompanied with a user guide provided by TI.Other resources are data sheets for the particular controller.Online community at TI’s Website and textbooks by John Davis are big sources of information on MSP.
The softwares are available in a code limited version for free and the development boards can be ordered from TI’s website . The launch pad is the cheapest with a price of around 200rs.It has a single port which is multiplexed as I/O’s,ADC’s,UART,Comparator,Timer and a built-in temperature sensor.It is a great tool to learn msp.Recently a Capacitive booster pack has been released with libraries for the launch pad .Its a capacitance based touch pad . priced at around 500rs.Here is a picture of the launch pad.