4. Small package size

When package size is the primary concern, MSP MCUs deliver a wide range of options as well. The portfolio includes many chips in a 4-mm × 4-mm configuration. But in some factory automation applications this may not be small enough. In our system, some sensor nodes may need to be as thin as the communication wires on which they communicate. The MSP430FRx FRAM MCU series includes a packaged device as small as 2 mm × 2 mm to accommodate these types of communication and control applications. Combined with analog integration and the ability to take over the functionality of external EEPROM with FRAM, MSP MCUs can offer the perfect fit for small form-factor designs (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Current loop TI Design using the MSP430FR5738 MCU.

Full solutions

TI offers many resources for using MSP MCUs in industrial automation environments. There are many TI Design reference designs available that offer holistic and detailed solutions, many of which would help implement the systems described earlier. In fact, many designs are geared toward industrial communication solutions for various protocols or sensing solutions of various types.

View a summarized list of designs in Figure 5.
TI Design Reference # Application Details Featured MCU
Data isolation for loop-powered applications TIDA-00245 Communications 4–20mA MSP430FR5969
NFC logger with FRAM TIDA-00230 Communications and datalogging NFC MSP430FR5969
Low-power micro-stepper motor driver using FRAM MCU TIDM-LPSM Motor control CTPL utility MSP430FR5969
Thermocouple AFE with RTD CJC TIDA-00168 Sensors RTD MSP430FR5949
Inductive proximity BoosterPack (LDC1101) TIDA-00460 Sensors Proximity MSP430F5528
Turnkey IO-Link sensor transmitter TIDA-00188 Sensors & communication RTD & IO-Link MSP430FR5738
RTD temperature transmitter current loop systems TIDA-00095 Sensors & communication RTD & 4–20mA MSP430G2513
Isolated thermocouple transmitter 4–20mA TIDA-00189 Sensors & communication RTD & 4–20mA MSP430F5172
Small form factor RTD sensor, 4–20mA TIDA-00165 Sensors & communication RTD & 4–20mA MSP430FR5738
Single-chip temperature transmitter TIDA-00247 Sensors & communication RTD & 4–20mA MSP430F2274
Hall-based proximity switch sensor with SIO interface TIDA-00244 Sensors & communication Proximity & SIO MSP430FR5738
Linear Hall-based proximity sensor with SIO interface TIDA-00286 Sensors & communication Proximity/Temp & IO-Link MSP430FR5738


The system we used to demonstrate the ability of MSP MCUs to meet the prevalent challenges in factory automation is a very simple example.

Especially with the latest trends toward full automation in factories, systems that require MCUs are growing larger and more complex. As they grow, they demand more and more from microcontrollers. Texas Instruments’ MSP MCU portfolio offers ultralow-power and high-performance options that can meet the application demands of lower power, increased performance and integration, higher operating temperatures and smaller system size.

About Will Cooper

William Cooper manages marketing, applications and systems teams in the Integrated Power Management organization at TI. He previously focused on the strategic development and positioning of MSP430™ microcontrollers with ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM... >>

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