New system-on-chip MCU solution from TI helps e-metering applications become more cost-effective and energy-efficient


DALLAS (Jan. 8, 2009) — As utility companies adopt electronic-based energy meter technology to improve grid performance and reliability, reduce costs and offer energy-saving consumer options, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) announced the MSP430FE42x2 microcontroller (MCU) series, reducing electronic bill of materials (EBOM) to the $1 range in high volumes for single-phase electricity metering (e-metering) applications. MSP430FE42x2 MCUs integrate all metering functionality onto a single chip and offers ultra-low power operation so that only simple voltage regulation such as that provided by TI’s TPS78230 regulator is required for a complete solution. FE42x2 MCUs come in a 64-pin LQFP package, offer up to 32 kB of in-system programmable Flash memory and are available today. FE42x2 MCUs are fully compatible with the $149 MSP-FET430U64 JTAG emulation toolkit, speeding development and time to market. For more information, please visit TI’s metering microsite at

MSP430FE42x2 key features and benefits

  • Unique embedded signal processor (ESP) peripheral fully automates energy conversion by integrating two independent, high-resolution sigma-delta ADCs, programmable gain amplifiers, a temperature sensor, precision voltage reference, H/W multiplier and a dedicated fixed function MSP430 CPU.
  • The ESP provides 0.1 percent accurate energy measurement over a dynamic current range of 1000- to-1, surpassing the 1 percent accuracy common in typical meters today.
  • A second, fully-programmable on-chip MSP430 CPU is available for application processing and communication functions. An enhanced watchdog timer, brownout protection and a supply voltage supervisor increase system reliability.
  • A 128 segment LCD driver, a three channel 16-bit pulse width modulation timer, serial communication port and a basic timer for a real-time clock function provide all functionality for a complete meter implementation while saving board space, reducing development time and streamlining time-to-market.
  • Direct device operation from 3V supply with the CPU and ESP active at only 2.5 mA. During a power outage, the device can operate in standby mode at 1.1 uA with real-time clock function active. Ultra-low power can enable 10 and 20-year battery life in metering applications.

TI’s complete portfolio of smart solutions drive intelligent metering applications TI’s utility metering portfolio includes optimized solutions for electricity, heat, water and gas metering, as well as for power line communication (PLC) and radio frequency (RF) interfaces such as ZigBee® for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). As part of a smart solution, previously independent systems like meters, home thermostats and large appliances can communicate wirelessly or over existing power lines to help consumers make more informed choices about energy by displaying usage and billing information and performing demand response, remote connect and diagnostics via automatic communication to and from the utility.

Find out more about TI’s MSP430FE42x2 by visiting the links below:

About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) helps customers solve problems and develop new electronics that make the world smarter, healthier, safer, greener and more fun. A global semiconductor company, TI innovates through manufacturing, design and sales operations in more than 25 countries. For more information, go to

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.