Boost battery life in "always on" smartphones, tablets and accessories with new ultra-low power microcontrollers from Texas Instruments

Highly configurable microcontrollers expand TI's portfolio of 128KB Flash MCUs with advanced features like 1.8V split-rail I/Os and eight serial interfaces to support sensor aggregation

Enabling advanced contextual computing functionality in next-generation handheld consumer devices, Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) today announced new MSP430™ microcontrollers (MCUs) that reduce power consumption in "always on" applications like smart phones, tablets and accessories. Developers who transfer sensor hub, keyboard control and battery/power management functionalities to MSP430F525x MCUs can create portable consumer devices that put power-hungry application processors and touch screen controllers on standby instead of draining the system's battery.

MSP430F525x MCUs feature a 1.8V split-rail I/O architecture that allows seamless interface to the application processor without needing an external level shifting circuit. Customers can now create smartphones, tablets and accessories that maintain I/O at 1.8V while operating the MCU at maximum performance. With a fast wake-up time at 3.5us and as little as 1.6uA power consumption in standby mode, these microcontrollers can extend battery life in portable consumer products from hours to days, while simultaneously reducing board space and system cost.

All of the new MSP430F525x microcontrollers include easy-to-use software and support to help designers get started quickly. The new MCUs are compatible with MSP430Ware™ software so developers can access code examples to simplify development and speed time to market. Additionally, the new MCUs are code compatible with existing MSP430 devices, enabling a broader range of scalability across TI's ultra-low-power MCU portfolio.

The new 16-bit MCUs also include additional RAM, I/O and serial interfaces to handle complex sensor algorithms, aggregation and monitoring functionalities quicker. For more information about the MSP430F525x MCUs, visit

Additional features and benefits of MSP430F525x microcontrollers:

Include four USCI_A and four USCI_B interfaces so developers have up to eight serial interfaces (four I2C and four SPI) for fast and robust communication to sensors or peripheral devices

Up to 35 general-purpose I/O can be used in the 1.8V voltage rail to conserve energy by switching off power supplies to components that are not in active use

Low-power peripherals include four 16-bit timers, a high-performance 10-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC), hardware multiplier, DMA, comparator, and real-time clock module with alarm capabilities

Active power at 290uA/MHz in Flash and 150uA/MHz in RAM, standby mode at 1.6uA (3V) and ultra-fast wakeup at 3.5us allows developers to implement differentiated features while maintaining ultra-low power consumption

Eight additional single-voltage rail 128K Flash MSP430F524x and MSP430F523x variants are ideal for industrial applications requiring larger memory like wireless smoke detectors, industrial sensors and smart appliances. These devices also support other software-intensive wireless interfaces like ZigBee® and Wi-Fi.

Pricing and availability

Developers can immediately purchase the new MSP430F525x MCUs starting at $2.61 for 1K units and MSP430F524x/3x MCUs start at $1.70 for 1K units. The microcontrollers are priced from $2.05 for 1K units and samples are immediately available. The MSP-TS430RGC64C target socket is now available for $117 USD. The MSP-FET430U64C target socket and UIF emulator is also now available for $175 USD from TI's eStore.