The Launchpad is a programmer/debugger for the MSP430 line of 16bit RISC microcontrollers.
The MSP430 is an ideal microcontroller for the hobbyist community. The microcontroller is entirely self contained with a built-in oscillator, internal bootloader/debugger, 10bit A/D converter, and voltage regulator.
The MSP430G2231 can be connected directly to 2 AA batteries ( it has a voltage range of 1.8 to 3.6 volts ).
The MSP430G2231 does NOT require an external crystal. It has a built-in oscillator factory trimmed to1Mhz ( +-0.5% ), and adjustable up to 16Mhz.
The MSP430G2231 includes a hardware bootloader/debugger that communicates using a single pin communication channel. This module is built-in the chip, and supports the ability to single step through code, and set hardware breakpoints.
Dedicated embedded emulation logic resides on the device itself and is
accessed via single pin JTAG using noadditional system resources.The
benefits of embedded emulation include:
• Unobtrusive development and debug with full-speed execution,
breakpoints, and single-steps in anapplication are supported.
• Development is in-system subject to the same characteristics as the final
• Mixed-signal integrity is preserved and not subject to cabling
The TI Launchpad actually flashes the MSP430, then uses the hardware bootloader/debugger to single step through the code. You can simply unplug the USB cable, connect 2 AA batteries to the Launchpad, and run your program completely stand-alone.