Ultra-low-power 32-bit MCU platform targets industrial and IoT applications

March 25, 2015 // By Paul Buckley
Texas Instruments has unveiled a 32-bit alternative to the company's 16-bit MSP430 family of microcontrollers.  The MSP432 ARM-based MCU family's low power architecture has been designed to provide MSP430 and ARM M0 developers migration paths to more feature packed solutions.

TI's MSP432 microcontroller (MCU) platform claims to be industry’s lowest power 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F MCUs.

To create the low power architecture solution, TI opted to build the MSP432 around the Cortex-M4F core architecture rather than ARM's Cortex-M0 core following the realisation that traditional industrial control applications and future Internet of Things applications require a more feature-rich solution that is low in power usage.

The 48 MHz MCUs apply TI’s ultra-low-power MCU expertise to optimize performance without compromising power, while consuming 95 µA/MHz in active power and 850 nA in standby power. Industry-leading integrated analog, such as a high-speed 14-bit 1MSPS analog-to-digital converter (ADC), further optimizes power efficiency and performance. MSP432 MCUs enable designers to develop ultra-low-power embedded applications such as industrial and building automation, industrial sensing, industrial security panels, asset tracking and consumer electronics where both efficient data processing and enhanced low-power operation are essential.

The MSP432 MCUs claim to deliver a best-in-class ULPBench score of 167.4 – outperforming all other Cortex-M3 and -M4F MCUs on the market. The ultra-low power benchmark (ULPBench) from the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) provides a standard way to compare power performance on any MCU, independent of architecture.