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Monday, August 6, 2012

C2000 Piccolo LaunchPad

The FedEx guy just left and I am holding my new C2000 Piccolo Launchpad in my hands!
While I will keep experimenting with the MSP430G2, I am also planning to give the C2000 a go, seems an interesting MCU.

I think Texas Instruments is doing a great job providing a wide range of solutions and a good support for learning and implementing them.
Don't get me wrong, I don't get any sponsorship from TI and as a matter of facts I believe Microchip and Atmel are doing nice stuff too.

What I like in this TI effort is their very low cost, easy entry point.
I think the whole launchpad idea is great, it makes it easier for beginners to discover the MCU world.
Still, it's not as easy as an Arduino, but, I believe, if you put in a bit more effort, you can also learn more.

I don't know yet how different is to code for the C2000 versus the MSP430G2, I expect it a bit more complex, but sure it helps that you can use the same tool (Code Composer Studio).
C2000 is a 32 Bit MCU, definitely more powerful than the MSP430G2 and targeted to different applications, but the concepts are pretty much the same.
I have been playing around with a Cortex M3 (an NXP), used a differen Dev environment, but still you can find some similarities.

 I expect (to be confirmed) the C2000 being a bit more like the M3 maybe.
Technically the launchpad works the same way the MSP430 one does, so I should be able to get started soon.
The board itself is similar to the previous launchpad

You can notice this one comes with (pre-assembled) double line headers.
Obviously the C2000 has a higher pin count, so this has to be reflected in the expansion headers.
MSP430 on the left, C2000 on the right

One strange thing is that the expansion headers can be accesses from both sides of the pbc, I don't know (yet) why, presumably to make it easier to connect multiple shields.
I don't think that's to plug it directly on a breadboard, as the double line would actually prevent that,

I will post an update as soon as I am able to test it.
If you are interested, you can find some more info on this product here (TI website).

Update : if you want to test the demo application, you need to setup your hardware as suggested in this video (I strongly recommend you watch it, found some info that I was not able to find in the "getting started" pdf)

To recap, you need to place 3 jumpers in -jp1,jp2,jp3- (they were not included with my launchpad, luckily I always have a few jumpers around) to enable the launchpad to be powered by the USB.
Plus you will need to place the switches as visible in the picture below.
Note that the switch 3 set to off disables the JTAG debugger, you need to turn that back on if you want to debug your code in the launchpad.

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