Applying ultra low-power embedded control technology for underwater safety and accuracy, Pelagic Pressure Systems has announced an advanced dive computer utilizing Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) MSP430 microcontroller (MCU). Pelagic’s new technology offers distinctive features to make sport and technical scuba diving safer, including wireless air pressure checks on multiple tanks and monitoring of divers’ nitrogen-oxygen mix information that can be displayed on the ATOM 2.0 dive watch or the unique DataMask with a heads-up display. These reliable, accurate and easy-to-use dive products benefit from the MSP430 MCU’s ultra-low power consumption for longer battery life as well as the device’s mix of on-chip peripherals optimized for high precision sensing and measurement in a small form factor.
“Not only were we able to extend our products’ battery life by tapping into world’s lowest MCU power consumption, but the direct access TI gave us to their field application engineers has been an invaluable resource for our development team,” said Hoan Hoang, Product Manager, Pelagic. “We’re thrilled by the MSP430 MCU’s ability to help our systems monitor and process a range of information from multiple divers with an excellent level of precision and granularity.”
Pelagic’s Innovative Dive Technology Establishes Higher Industry Standards
With more than 20 years as a supplier of innovative diving equipment, Pelagic’s newest dive computer calculates and displays a wealth of crucial information. The system can be used in a dive watch worn on the wrist, in a dive mask or in other convenient ways. Air pressure data is transmitted wirelessly to the computer from sensor units on up to three dive tanks, allowing divers to monitor each other’s air with “Buddy Pressure Checks” that enhance the safety of diving in groups. Technical divers can monitor up to three different levels of oxygen from 21 to 100 percent for safer dives at greater depths. The unit tracks diver depth and elapsed dive time while a patented algorithm based on the rate of transfer of gases through 12 different body tissues calculates how much time a diver can remain underwater.
One of the first released products based on Pelagic’s new dive computer is Oceanic’s ATOM 2.0 diving watch. In addition to performing all the operations mentioned above, the ATOM 2.0 can be conveniently worn out of water as an ordinary watch. An even more revolutionary product based on Pelagic’s new technology is a DataMask which features a heads-up display (HUD) that provides the dive computer’s information in a small display at the bottom of the mask. Developed in cooperation with the U.S. military and recently finalized for military use, the HUD DataMask is scheduled to appear in a fully functional consumer version in the fall of 2006. All current products are designed and manufactured by Pelagic Pressure Systems and distributed by Oceanic Worldwide and Aeris.
Highly Integrated MCU Reduces System Costs, Extends Battery Life
When developing the new computer, Pelagic turned to TI’s MSP430F4270 MCU, which features a real time clock (RTC), standby current of only 1.6 micro-amps (µA) and only 280 µA in typical active operation at 1 MHz and 2.2 volts (V). This ultra-low power technology enables the ATOM 2.0 watch to operate for over two years on a single battery under ordinary diving use. The MSP430 MCU’s ultra-low power core and the complete chain of integrated peripherals including a 16-bit sigma delta analog to digital converter (ADC), up to 32KB of flash memory and a liquid crystal display (LCD) driver with an internal charge pump helped Pelagic’s designers reduce overall system costs and development time while maintaining extremely accurate sensing and measurement capabilities.
The MSP430 MCU’s embedded flash memory not only helps speed development but also allows Oceanic and Aeris’ networks of worldwide service centers upgrade customers’ dive computers quickly through software. The controller drives the LCD display directly and can connect directly to the system battery without intervening voltage regulation, saving component space and costs. TI’s broad MSP430 MCU portfolio allows each of the Pelagic’s products to be matched with a device that features an optimized selection of on-chip memory and peripherals.
Pelagic’s new technology also integrates a TI -TLV2764 operational amplifier for signal conditioning and an MAX3221 driver, a RS232 transceiver.
TI Enables Innovation with a Broad Range of Controllers
From ultra low power MSP430 and 32-bit general purpose TMS470 ARM7(TM)-based MCUs to high performance TMS320C2000(TM) digital signal controllers, TI offers designers the broadest range of embedded control solutions. Designers can also accelerate their design to market by tapping into TI’s complete software and hardware tools, extensive third party offerings and technical support.