Introduction to TI Launchpad

Launchpad Logo TI Launchpad MSP430 Programming

What is TI LaunchPad?

TI (Texas Instruments) introduced development kits featuring TI microcontrollers that are available at low costs and have open-source hardware under the name of LaunchPad.  At present, there are over 20 different LaunchPads available in the market that are designed with specific application fields in mind. TI provided a lot of add-on features to these boards that help the user for rapid prototyping and development purposes.


Open Source?

When it is said that TI LaunchPad is an open-source platform, it means that all the information regarding the hardware that TI provides for the LaunchPad boards is freely available and can be used by anyone. They provide the designs for their hardware which can be used by anyone. Anyone can use these designs to manufacture the hardware, no licenses are required.

Texas Instrument even joined hands with Arduino to bring out an open-source IDE called Energia that looks just like the Arduino IDE (it is a fork of Arduino IDE) and is easy to use as well.


Why TI LaunchPad?

TI provides many different types of LaunchPad boards which are useful for developing various applications.

The LaunchPad boards can be programmed using either Code Composer Studio or the Energia IDE.

Energia IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is free to download from the Energia website and use. Many libraries are provided with the software and a large number of libraries developed by people from around the world are available for free. The functions implemented in these libraries can be used for quick development purposes.

This allows the user to use certain interfaces or modules without having in-depth knowledge about the internal structure or working.

The point is that a lack of technical or coding knowledge should not become an obstacle for development or creative thinking.

They also offer a number of expansion boards (or BoosterPacks as they call them) which can be plugged into their boards and used.

All of this enables fast and easy development.


LaunchPad Boards

A wide range of LaunchPad boards is manufactured by TI. These have different sizes, different microcontrollers, and different processing capabilities.

These provide various alternatives of operating frequencies, memory sizes (Flash and RAM), power, performance, and targeted applications.

There are Connected MCU LaunchPad kits like the MSP-EXP432P401R and CC3220S-LAUNCHXL; MSP430 Low Power MCU LaunchPad kits like the MSP-EXP430G2 and MSP-EXP430FR133; C2000 Performance MCU LaunchPad kits like the LAUNCHXL-F28027 and LAUNCHXL-F28069M; and Hercules Safety MCU LaunchPad kits like the LAUNCHXL2-TMS57012 and LAUNCHXL2-RM46. There are many more boards in each type of LaunchPad kits.

Depending on the need of application and the processing requirements, users can choose from any of these.

For more information about LaunchPad boards, click here.


Energia IDE

The Energia IDE is available for download for free on the Energia website. You can download the latest version for your operating system from here.

The IDE makes it easy to write codes and upload the to the LaunchPad boards. It can be used with most of the LaunchPad boards.

The latest version of the IDE (1.6.10E18) needs a few changes to be done in order to work with the MSP-EXP430G2553.

Follow the steps given below in order to overcome the issue.

  1. copy <energia directory>\hardware\tools\DSLite\DebugServer\drivers\MSP430.dll to <energia directory>\hardware\tools\msp430\bin\
  2. edit <energia directory>\hardware\energia\msp430\boards.txt a change the 2 occurrences of rf2500 with tilib
  3. restart Energia and you should be able to upload to the MSP-EXP430G2 with MSP430G2553.

(We found this solution on the 43oh forum and it is one that worked for us. Here is a link to the discussion on the topic: )


For MSP-EXP430G2553 Energia Users

There were issues faced while using I2C functions in the Energia IDE. The Energia IDE started using software-based I2C implementation for MSP-EXP430G2553 since revision 17 of the IDE. This software implementation does not make use of the I2C pins (P1.6 and P1.7) of the IC, but instead uses 2 different pins (P2_1 and P2_2) for I2C communication. The pin mapping diagram on the Energia IDE has not been updated. We found the updated pin mapping in one of the discussions. Here is a link to the discussion page:

Use the SCL(1) and SDA(1) pins as shown in the image below for I2C communication.

MSP-EXP430G2553 Pin Out TI Launchpad MSP430
MSP430 Ti Launchpad Pin Mapping Diagram

Components Used

TI Launchpad MSP-EXP430G2
TI Launchpad MSP-EXP430G2