The MSP430 microcontrollers are Ultra-Low-Power mixed signal, 16-Bit RISC Core devices.

MSP430 is a family of microcontrollers designed and manufactured by Texas Instruments. The main focus in the MSP430 devices is the ultra-low-power consumption. There is a huge portfolio of these 16-bit RISC core devices (different peripherals, memory organization, power, temperature ranges, etc.).

MSP430 devices can run up to 25Mhz and the active power consumption of the most capable MSP430 chip is less than 500µA per MHz - that can be lowered even less if you disable the perihperals that you don't use or if you set up the different sleep modes. This makes them perfect for portable and hand-held devices.


  • Very low power consumption: between 40 µA/MHz and 400 µA/MHz (depending on the exact chip)
  • Mature and popular product with very clean architecture - the code porting between different members of the MSP430 family needs almost no re-touch
  • Very good range of peripherals: precise ADC and DACs, comparators, OAMPs on chip, LCD drivers, SPI, I2C, UART, DMA
  • Very good documentation, with lots of application notes and code examples available
  • Big portfolio of products - you may chose the one that fits your application without anything extra
  • Available in any quantity through TI distributors


  • Von Neuman architecture, instructions take from 1 to 4 bytes, and are performed in 1 to 6 clocks.
  • Not suitable for applications that would require heavy processing power

The new members MSP430X have extended instruction set and allow more than 64KB memory addressing.

The information above apples only for MSP430 devices; it does not apply to other MSP43x devices (like MSP432) that use ARM Cortex architecture.

MSP430 development with completely free compiler and IDE setup with MSPGCC + Eclipse