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MSP430 Launchpad

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MSP430 Launchpad is a hardware development tool for MSP430 Value Line series of microcontrollers and is popular among hobbyist for its low cost and features. It is an easy way to start developing on the MSP430 MCUs, with on-board emulation for programming and debugging as well as buttons and LEDs for a simple user interface.

Port configuration

There are few ports present on the board as shown in the MSP430 pinout and the functions of these ports are described below.




GPIO pins


P1.0 to P1.7 & P2.0 to P2.5

These are the input/output pins of the microcontroller (placed in the socket) given out of the board for interfacing.



Can be used for general purpose interfacing during operation.


P1.0 & P1.6

Can be used for general purpose indication during operation.


Connected to RESET pin of microcontroller

If pressed the microcontroller will reset.

Power Connected

Three pin jack at the bottom

Can be used to connect eternal power sources after programming.

Crystal pads

Solder joints adjacent to controller

A crystal oscillator can be soldered here for providing more accurate clock source.

eZ430 connector

Six pin connector

Provides a bridge between Emulator board and Microcontroller breakout board. Can be disconnected to isolate both sections of the PCB.

Programming port

USB connector at the top

The device will be connected to PC (For programming and power) using this port.


MSP430 Features and Electrical characteristics

  • Dip socket for easy plug-in or removal of microcontroller
  • Energy trace technology available for ultra-low-power debugging
  • One button and two LEDs for user interaction
  • USB debugging and programming interface featuring a driverless installation
  • Available UART serial communication with up to 9600 Baud
  • Supports MSP430G2xx2, MSP430G2xx3, and MSP430F20xx devices in PDIP14 or PDIP20 packages
  • Hardware reset button available on board
  • Operating voltage range: 5V

The MSP430 board can be used for programming many controllers but there will be two microcontrollers available with the development board so we will mention features of them below.


MSP430G2553 Controller

MSP430G2452 Controller

CPU architecture

16-Bit RISC Architecture

16-Bit RISC Architecture

Frequency of Operation

Up to 16MHz

Up to 16MHz

Flash Memory







1x I2C

1x SPI


1x I2C

1x SPI


Programmable I/O pins




8 channel of 10 bit resolution

8 Channel of 10 bit resolution


8 input available

8 input available


2 x 16 bit

1 x 16 bit

Capacitive touch interface



Internal temperature sensor



Watchdog timer




Similar MCU Boards

CC1352P, CC1352R, CC26x2R, CC3200


MSP430 Launchpad Overview

MSP430 launchpad is a development board which can be used to design all Arduino based applications since both have similar capabilities and features. Similar to Arduino being developed on AVR controllers, the MSP430 launch pad is developed on TI MSP430 microcontrollers. This device can be used to develop low end applications and not high end applications, as it does not have high processing power like Raspberry pi.


How to use MSP430 Launchpad

Similar to arduino we need IDE software for interfacing the board to PC and programming the microcontroller seated in it. There are two IDE software available for the MSP430 launchpad and the link of both are given below.

In both IDE using energia is easier, as the software is developed based on arduino IDE and they share similar programming feel. So for those who are familiar with arduino will fell energia IDE similar and helpful.

Once you download the IDE software install it in your PC and do it with administer rights for avoiding future troubles. Run the installed program and connect the development board to the PC using the cable provided along with the kit. The PC will detect the board automatically after connecting. Once detection in done go to the example programs in the IDE and choose blinking program to execute. Once it is done the IDE will debug the blinky program for error and after successful compilation the program will be transferred to microcontroller in the board. Once the program is transferred, the microcontroller executes the blinky program saved in its flash memory and we will see the LED present in the board blinking.

So with that we have successfully programmed the controller via usb interface and in the similar way we can write the other programs in the IDE and dump these programs in the controller after compilation.



  • TI microcontroller learning tool
  • Prototyping
  • Robotics
  • Planes and Drones
  • Building automation
  • Access control and security
  • Security systems and electronic locks
  • Electronic and Electrical measuring instruments
  • Health monitoring devices



MSP430 Dimensions

Component Datasheet

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