Texas Instruments - Launchpad: The new approach to innovative developement in microcontrollers

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Texas Instruments has been working in manufacturing of discrete electronics since a very long time. It manufactures almost all electronic components from comparators to microcontrollers.

A few years back Texas Instruments(TI) launched a new 8-bit microcontroller development platform for hobbyists and new learners. This platform was very low cost and came with basic set of tools to start developing small embedded projects. It was called "The LaunchPad".
Initially an MSP-430 based development board was launched which was priced at $2.99!!
Recently TI has expanded the "Launchpad" line to include boards with C2000 and ARM Cortex Series processors. There are also some new development boards with special interface like USB and Wifi. 
There are also a number of plug-in modules available to extend the functionality of your LaunchPad. TI calls these plug-in modules "Booster Packs". There are Booster Packs available for Alphanumeric LCDs, capacitive touch, motors drives and a number of different sensors.
The Launchpad products come with an open-source code editing tool called "Energia" and also TI's own "Code Composer Studio".

Here is an overview of the LaunchPad product line. 

MSP LaunchPads 
These ultra low power LaunchPads feature the MSP430 miconcontroller and are designed to be battery operated. 

C2000 LaunchPads 
The C2000 LaunchPads are designed for real-time processing applications. They can be used for 3-phase motor control.
Connected LaunchPads
These LaunchPads are for designs that require connectivity like Ethernet, USB and Wifi. They can be used for Internet-Of-Things (IoT) applications like home automation and smart energy. 
Hercules LaunchPads 
This series of LaunchPads is for use in development of safety critical equipments like industrial, automotive and medical devices. They feature ARM Cortex processors with lock-step cores and other safety features.

Here is a link to TI's LaunchPad brochure and website. 

Happy hacking!!



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