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Created on: 30 August 2012
The MSP-FET430U64 development kit for 64-pin LQFP MSP430 microcontrollers from Texas Instruments includes a board and JTAG programmer/debugger. It is priced at around $150 US.
The kit is packaged in a cardboard box. The development board is supplied in a pink static dissipative bag instead of a static shielding bag.
See the video at the end of this review that shows the kit being unpacked.
The board can be used right out of the box, so no other hardware is required to get it running initially. It is powered by the external stand-alone USB debugger interface. Because it only has one user programmable LED, other hardware devices would be needed to be interfaced to it for further evaluation / development. An external power supply may be required if the board is to run stand-alone.
Commercial software tools are available from IAR (IAR Workbench for MSP430) and Texas Instruments (Code Composer Studio).
The GNU toolchain is available for MSP430 microcontrollers.
The kit contains:
Two MSP430 microcontrollers are supplied with the board. Other 64-pin LQFP MSP430 microcontrollers can also be used with the board.
The main feature of the development board is the ZIF socket that allows many different 64-pin LQFP MSP430 microcontrollers to be easily inserted. The ZIF socket can be unclipped, a different MSP430 microcontroller inserted and then clipped closed again.
The board has only one user programmable LED interfaced to it. Through-hole solder pads surround the ZIF socket on the board allowing connection to all of the MSP430 microcontroller pins. Male and female pin headers are included in the kit and can be soldered to the pads.
A pin header is provided for supplying external power to the board.
An IDE connector (JTAG header) on the board allows connecting the external MSP430 USB programmer / debugger interface. The JTAG programmer debugger can power the board and be used to program and debug it.
The MSP-FET430U64 is a good quality kit for evaluating and developing with 64-pin LQFP MSP430 microcontrollers.
Can't see the video? View on YouTube →