Texas Instruments Releases Code Composer Essentials v3

Spurred by the rapid adoption of its initial Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) for MSP430 microcontrollers (MCU), Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE: TXN) announced the release of Code Composer Essentials (CCEssentials) v3. CCEssentials v3 for MSP430 provides major upgrades designed to enhance performance, emulation and ease-of-use, all at a very low cost. Leveraging the design flexibility and interoperability enabled by the Eclipse open source platform, designers can easily integrate plug-ins for a highly customized, interoperable and flexible IDE.

CCEssentials streamlines the design process with a more intuitive interface combined with leading C code density and powerful debugging capabilities. Major upgrades include optimizations and improvements focused on improving design flow, simplifying debugging and verification and speeding time-to-market while keeping system costs low:

  • Increased ease-of-use: Streamlined options dialog boxes reduce the number of steps required for commonly performed design tasks. Additionally, developers have consolidated access to other MSP430 compilers tools such as the MSPGCC GNU tool chain through a single IDE.
  • Advanced embedded emulation: Comprehensive support of MSP430 MCU’s on-chip capabilities, including non-intrusive code execution with real-time hardware capabilities, including breakpoints and stack trace, resulting in faster emulation and more efficient debugging in all lower modes. Complex triggers on bus values and control over clocks on a peripheral basis dramatically enhance control over the device.
  • High-performance debugger: Replacing the GDB debugger with the TI CCStudio Debug Server yields up to 200 percent faster performance for tasks such as downloading applications, single-stepping, and refreshing registers and variables.
  • Updated C-code syntax: Allows developers to directly import code without modification from the rich diversity of code examples, libraries and demos from TI and TI third parties.
  • Support for all MSP430 MCUs: Support for all MSP430 MCU generations allows developers to utilize the best device for their needs, including the extended memory (up to 1MB Flash) capabilities of MSP430X architecture such as the MSP430F261x.

Texas Instruments Code Composer Essentials (CCEssentials) v3Increased tool accessibility and availability
“We strive to provide world-class development tools that empower our customers for a fraction of the investment of other suppliers,” said Adrian Valenzuela, MSP430 strategic tools marketing manager, TI. “By increasing the code capacity to 16KB in our free version of CCEssentials, we help remove a key barrier to entry for many emerging markets, including independent and off-shore design houses as well as universities.”

CCEssentials brings all the MSP430 development tools under a single IDE to give developers the option of ‘one-stop shopping’ for added efficiency to help get designs up and running in just minutes. Additionally, separating the compiler from the IDE allows developers to bring in the best-of-class plugins for their designs.

CCEssentials v3 (MSP-CCE430) is free and supports up to 16K bytes of code space. CCEssentials Pro v3 (MSP-CCE430PRO) features unlimited C and assembly code space starting at $499 for a single seat. CCEssentials v3 will be available for download at www.ti.com/cce or from authorized TI distributors beginning April 30, 2008.

Eclipse open source enables interoperability for flexibility and innovation
The CCEssentials IDE is based on version 3.2 of the Eclipse open source development platform, which offers developers the freedom of choice in tool integration, software modeling and testing in a multi-language, platform and vendor environment. Eclipse’s plug-in based framework and customizable tools simplifies the creation and integration of software tools by designers and third parties to reduce development time and investment. By collaborating and exploiting core integration technology, developers leverage platform reuse and concentrate on core competencies to create new technologies. For more information see www.eclipse.org.

The industry’s lowest power MCUs
The MSP430 MCU platform features a flexible clock system with five low-power modes enabling unmatched ultra-low-power performance with standby current as low as 0.5 microamps. Engineers can tune system clocking to precisely meet the power requirements for their application. A complete chain of integrated peripherals lets designers tap into more functionality while keeping overall system costs low and development time short. Fast instruction execution enabled by a modern 16-bit RISC CPU, coupled with the ability to start-up from standby in less than 1 microsecond with a digitally controlled oscillator (DCO), results in ultra-low power consumption for battery life of over ten years.

TI enables innovation with 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 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. For more information on the broad range of TI’s controllers, see www.ti.com/mcu.