MSP430 are best known as low power 16 bit microcontrollers. They have several low power modes and can quickly enter or exit those modes. Multiple clock options and processor speeds allows for quick response followed by long periods of low power use between events.
An amazing array of onboard hardware peripherals are available (some even include LCD display drivers), most of which will work on thier own, after being setup by the CPU. This allows the main processor to shut down and wait for a peripheral to gather data until it is ready to process or send data until it is ready for more.
TI is introcucing a series of msp430 variants with on board 12-bit AtoD, 8K to 60K of flash memory, on board reference, an analog comparator, hardware multiplier, two serial ports and 2 16-bit pwm timers. Believe it or not, the 8K version will sell for $2.95 @ qty 1k. That's not bad for *anything* with 64 pins let alone a 16 bit core micro.
MSP stands for Mixed Signal Processor, a reference to the excellent analog support provided in the line.
MPS's use Little Endian ordering of memory: The lower order byte is stored at the lower address.
16-bit 8MHz Ultra-Low-Power MCU, 48kB Flash, 10KB RAM, 12-Bit ADC, Dual DAC,
2 USART or SPI, I2C, HW Mult, DMA, 48GPIO, Timers: 16-bit (3CCR),
16-bit (7CCR), Watchdog/Interval. +
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