Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TI launches free software for microcontrollers

Free Grace software platform that generates C code and eliminates manual peripheral configuration for 16bit chips

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Texas Instruments has launched a free visual plug-in that enables developers to easily enable and configure ultra-low-power MSP430 microcontroller peripherals through a graphical user interface (GUI). With the Grace software, developers can interact with buttons, pull-down menus and helpful pop-ups to generate easy-to-understand C code that automatically configures the low-level register settings of analogue-to-digital converters (ADCs), operational amplifiers (op amps), timers, serial communication modules, clocks and other peripherals. 
By simplifying the peripheral configuration process, Grace software enables developers to focus on their differentiated application layer and user experience, removing barriers to microcontroller development and quickening time to market.
As a free Code Composer Studio IDE plug-in, Grace software seamlessly integrates into the MSP430 microcontroller tool chain and development process, compatible with all MSP430G2xx (Value Line) and MSP430F2xx devices, most eZ430 modules and the LaunchPad development kit. Open source tutorials and project examples are also included. Additionally, Grace software technology is scalable, with the potential to support other TI embedded processing solutions.

Key features:
  • Free plug-in for Code Composer Studio IDE, which provides an intuitive graphical environment for enabling and configuring MSP430 peripherals.
  • Helpful tool tips and pop-ups based on MSP430 datasheets and user guides provide a rapid understanding of the various peripherals and configuration options
  • Generates easy-to-understand C code and minimizes configuration conflicts or collisions between multiple peripherals to further quicken time to market
  • Compatible with LaunchPad, eZ430-F2013 and eZ430-RF2500 development tools to offer a completely user-friendly development environment for first-time microcontroller users
  • Grace provides a Basic, Power User, and Register-level view offering different levels of abstraction for setting up peripherals
The Grace software platform is available today for free download at www.ti.com/grace-pr-tf
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