Sunday, March 20, 2011

The DEV.BO is Born!

I would like to introduce you all to the DEV.BO prototype. This board is built around the MSP430F5510, it not only includes the typical on-board items, but also an FTDI chip.

The Dev.BO
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I was using the MSP430F5528 in a personal project of mine (which I will be posting when I have more time). TI just released a new set of chips in the MSP430F55xx series, one of which caught my eye, the MSP430F5510. This chip has all of the features I needed the 5528 for, but is half the price! Granted the 5510 does has less memory and a less precise ADC (and is lacking a few other things) but this was not important to my project.

Note: The MSP430F5510 on the DEV.BO is the 48 pin version which has a bit less peripherals than the larger sized MSP4305510 package.

I needed to get a board made for my project and decided to just go ahead and make a small target board which I might start selling if all goes well. Keep in mind this just a prototype and I need to test at least one more version before I can start selling them.

Some DEV.BO’s Features
  • Based on the MSP430F5510
    • Max clock speed of 25MHz
    • Integrated 32kHz crystal
    • 25K of flash memory
    • 1 USCI_B (I2C/SPI)
    • 2 16-bit (3CCR), 1 16-bit (5CCR), 1 16-bit (7CCR)
    • 10-bit SAR ADC
    • Much more!
  • Connectors for both SBW and JTAG
  • USB interface (FTDI323RL)
  • 1 programmable push button
  • 1 programmable LED
  • Much more!
DEV.BO size comparison
As you can see in the picture above, it is quite small. For me, it replaces the MSP430F5528 target board on the right and the FTDI breakout board from SparkFun on the upper left.

I am still here and working hard, sorry that my last posts have been quite sporadic. I love how the DEV.BO came out and am excited to get it more finalized in the upcoming weeks. It makes programming the 5510 a breeze because of how simple it is to connect to the LaunchPad. I was very frustrated with my MSP430F5528 target board and how many wires I needed to get things up and running. Mouser just got the MSP430F5510 (in the correct package) in stock, so I can start pushing things along.

The reason I wanted to post this now was because my next two posts will be about one of my latest mini projects - a heart beat detection algorithm implemented on an MSP430F55xx. Once I finish those posts I will delve into the details of I2C because it can be a very confusing topic for beginners (and even advanced developers!).


  1. Nice work Nicholas. The "wires" on the silkscreen seems like a good idea, but I still think you'll want to include the pin names, otherwise you have to count pins to find the one you want.

  2. I really want one based on the cc430, so thats what I'm working towards this year. Everything I want to do needs to communicate.

  3. WANT!

    Nice job, and good to hear from you again!

  4. I don't understand why you use the FTDI USB interface, when you can use the USB interface on the MSP?

  5. I have done extensive work with the integrated USB peripheral on the new 55xx family (granted it was a few months ago), and the whole experience was disappointing to say the least.

    The USB stack that TI provides is (was?) very inefficient and I have never seen anyone get the data rate over 600kbps sustained. If so, I would love to find out how, since I would prefer not to use the FTDI chip.

    That being said, the USB peripheral is great if you are using the HID interface (slow data rates). The main downside in my opinion is how much code you really need to load onto the microcomputer to even get a little bit of functionality. I have broken out all of the pins in case you decide you want to play around with the integrated USB, it was a great learning experience even though I would not recommend using it for a project. Take a look at the example code on TI's website.

    I hope that answered your question. Best of luck with your projects! :-)

  6. How can you program the DEV.BO with the LaunchPad?

  7. David, there is a programming header on the top of the DEV.BO which matched the programming header on the LaunchPad. I use a simple 6-pin cable from SparkFun and just use a single wire to connect the ground pin.

  8. you can connect DEB.BO with launchpad but launchpad doesn't know about msp430f5510... so, like David said, how can you program the DEV.BO with the LaunchPad? it would be a very cheap solution to program msp430fxx with launchpad.

  9. Though the LaunchPad can't program all MSP430s it can program all that support SBW. This includes almost all of the new MSP430s that TI has released. The programmer that is built into the LaunchPad communicates with your IDE (such as CCS) and can send the necessary commands and data to load a program on any SBW device. Soon I will post a small blurb on how I program the DEV.BO using the LaunchPad.

    All you need to do to program these chips is to connect the GND, RST, and TEST pins to your chip (again, only if it supports SBW). The programming header on the DEV.BO takes advantage of this fact by keeping the order of the pins the same as the LaunchPad's.

    Hope that answers your question.

  10. yes, it answer. thank's. it will be very usefull "a small blurb on how to program the DEV.BO using the LaunchPad"