Recognizing innovation and excellence in ultra low power microcontroller (MCU) design, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) awarded first, second and third place MSP430 eZ Design Contest prizes during the fifth annual MSP430 Advanced Technical Conference in Dallas. First prize went to a shirt pocket-sized, two-channel digital storage oscilloscope designed by Shaun Parsons of Johannesburg, South Africa. Second and third place prizes went to a tiny, battery-free temperature recorder and to a real-time clock temperature-compensating display watch.
From July – October of 2006, over 100 contestants from around the globe submitted projects ranging from practical everyday devices to industry-specific solutions showcasing design skills using the world’s lowest-power MSP430 MCU and tools, including the new eZ430-F2013, a USB stick-based full emulation and development tool. For more information on the winning designs, see www.designmsp430.com
Winning Pocket Scope Shrinks Size, Not Features
The winning “pocket scope” features an eight-channel logic analyzer, function generator, bode plotter, spectrum analyzer and two-channel volt meter with simultaneous AC/DC display and data logging functionality. The design was chosen for its ability to shrink the functionality of a much larger portable oscilloscope – which would weigh several pounds and cost thousands of dollars – into a convenient, portable unit that could be sold for under $200. The MSP430F1611 MCU’s integrated hardware multiplier’s powerful instruction set executes arithmetic and digital signal processing (DSP)-like functions at high speed while the device’s on-chip direct memory access (DMA) enables the transfer of large amounts of 16-bit data samples between memory and the high performance, 12-bit analog-to-digital (A/D) converter. The combination of the MSP430 MCU’s processing power, integration and ultra-low-power consumption enables the scope’s tiny form factor and allows the device to run off of a single nine-volt battery for extended periods.
Ultra-Low Power, High Integration Key to Second And Third Place Wins
Second place was awarded to Jingxi Zhang of Forster City, California for his “Tiny Temperature Recorder without Battery.” The eZ430-F2103 tool was used to develop this complete, real-world system, which uses no battery and minimal components to exemplify ultra-low power, high-performance design. The recorder leverages the MSP430F2013 MCU’s integrated high-precision analog components to achieve temperature measurements with better than 0.02 degrees Celsius resolution while a single, instantaneous charge allows the device to record temperature for up to 60 hours.
Third place went to San Diego’s William Hugh Molesworth for his “MSP430 RTC Temperature Compensation Watch,” which generates real time clock (RTC) operations for applications requiring accurate timing. The design’s integrated MSP430FG439 MCU provides the performance required for effective filtering along with the timer hardware needed to generate real time clock (RTC) operations while controlling an LCD display and using on-chip temperature sensors to compensate for temperature variances. The MSP430 MCU’s ultra-low power standby modes combined with the RTC compensation algorithm enables the LCD to show accurate time for ten years using a single battery.
Contestants in the MSP430 eZ Design Contest were invited to submit their original product designs along with elements including design schematics, MSP430 MCU firmware, technical diagrams, block diagrams, pictures of finished and incomplete designs or videos of running hardware. Judges from TI, CMP Media and online votes determined the winner based on innovation and the use of on-chip MSP430 MCU features to determine the first, second and third winners. Prizes included 61″, 50″ and 42″ Samsung DLP(R) HDTVs along with free airfare and attendance to the ATC held in Dallas, TX on November 7-9, 2006.
ATC Europe, Asia and Japan To Feature Winning Designs
The three winning designs will be featured at upcoming ATC events being held world wide through January 2007. Advanced Technical Conferences in Europe, Asia and Japan will allow attendees to expand their MCU design expertise through a choice of hands-on labs, in-depth technical lectures and collaboration with MSP430 MCU technology experts for low power, portable design tips and tricks.
Location, Date, and Registration Fee
Sonthofen, Germany — December 5-7, 2006 — 815 EURO
Shenzhen, China — December 11-12, 2006 — RMB 500
Taipei, Taiwan — December 14-15, 2006 — NT$ 3,300
Bangalore, India — January 9 -10, 2007 — INR 3500
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.
About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments Incorporated provides innovative DSP and analog technologies to meet our customers’ real world signal processing requirements. In addition to Semiconductor, the company includes the Educational & Productivity Solutions business. TI is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has manufacturing, design or sales operations in more than 25 countries. Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TXN.
ARM7 is a trademark of ARM Ltd. DLP is a registered trademark of Texas Instruments. TMS320C2000 is a trademark of Texas Instruments.