TI Creates MSP430 Microcontrollers for Handheld Medical Applications

Low-power embedded technology reaches a new level of integration and affordability as Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) announces a system-on-chip (SoC) microcontroller unit (MCU) that provides a complete signal chain for handheld medical applications. The new MSP430FG4270 MCU integrates a comprehensive range of functions needed to design low cost portable medical diagnostic equipment. The generous on-chip memory and a full suite of integrated analog peripherals keep component costs and system space to a minimum in portable applications such as personal blood pressure monitors, spirometers, pulsoximeters and heart rate monitors.

Medical diagnostics are changing rapidly, aided by a new generation of equipment and handheld devices that can be carried to the patient’s bedside. Processing solutions for such equipments must not only offer high performance and low power consumption, but also minimize board space and component counts through SoC integration. In order to measure, monitor and display analog physiological input signals such as temperature, blood pressure and other vital signs, the ultra-low power MSP430FG4270 MCU integrates the complete analog and digital signal chain. This includes signal conditioning techniques such as amplification, filtering and digital conversion.

The MSP430FG4270′s 16-bit RISC architecture is designed for optimized performance and extended battery life – key care abouts of designers of portable applications. Five low-power modes, with a standby power consumption of only 1.1 uA, conserve power, while a wake-up from standby to active mode of less than 6 us provides excellent response when the equipment is needed. On-chip functions that save external components include a high-performance 16-bit sigma-delta analog to digital converter (ADC) with internal reference and five differential analog inputs, 12-bit digital to analog converter (DAC), two configurable operational amplifiers, 16-bit timer, 16-bit registers, 32 I/O pins, zero-power brown-out reset, and a liquid crystal display (LCD) driver with contrast control for up to 56 segments.

The MCU’s power savings and SoC integration can also benefit other types of applications, including analog and digital sensor systems, portable medical devices, digital motor control, remote controls, thermostats, digital timers and handheld meters.

“As the world of medical diagnostics becomes increasingly portable and cost competitive, equipment manufacturers require processing solutions that not only reduce development complexity and time, but also help minimize space and cost in the finished product,” said Cornelia Huellstrunk, product marketing manager, MSP430, Texas Instruments. “TI’s MSP430FG4270 MCU addresses this need with low power consumption, a full signal chain on chip, and outstanding development support – all at an affordable price.”

To speed time to market, MSP430 Development Kits include everything required to complete an entire project, including the IAR Embedded Workbench(TM) and Code Composer Studio Essentials(TM) Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), a USB debugging and programming interface, and an MSP430-based target board.

Availability, Packaging and Pricing
The new MSP430FG4270 MCU is now available in volume from TI and TI authorized distributors. Customers can select a 48-pin SSOP or 48-pin QFN package. Suggested resale pricing for the MSP430FG4270 is $3.78 per unit in quantities of 10,000.

TI Enables Innovation with a Broad Range of Controllers
From ultra low power MSP430 and 32-bit general purpose TMS470 ARM7®-based MCUs to high performance TMS320C2000(TM) digital signal controllers, TI offers designers a broad 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.

More information: TI’s controllers