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I have a free sample of the TI MSPF5308IRGCR MCU and I want to program it.

Is there some simple way to transfer a program without having to invest in the relatively expensive JTAG? The JTAG is in the vicinity of $100 and looking at the tutorial for other microcontrollers such as Atmel, the program transfer modules available there are rather cheap, in the vicinity of $10.

Is it an inescapable cost to buy a ~$100 to start with a TI MSP530 for a newbie hobbyist? Or is there something rather simple that I am missing.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

According to the device datasheet the MSP430F5308 supports the SBW (Spy Bi-Wire) interface. This is a simpler interface than full JTAG, and means that you can use the low cost MSP430 Launchpad as a programmer for it.

You meed to connect four signals from the CPU to J4 (the six small holes on the right of the Launchpad) : for more details see the Launchpad documentation...

  1. 3.3V
  2. 0V
  3. TEST/SBWTCK - pin 59 on the RGC package
  4. RST/NMI/SBWTDIO - pin 64 on the RGC package
    source : datasheet p.4

In practice this means making a PCB or buying a breakout PCB for that package, and soldering the CPU to it before you can program and use it.

I use the Launchpad to program SBW-compatible devices, with the open source "mspdebug" programmer software, and program mine in Ada though you can use C too.

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+1 woot! thank you :D – necromancer Jul 4 '14 at 9:31
Good find : link added to answer. That 4 pin header is the SBW interface. – Brian Drummond Jul 4 '14 at 9:46

The short answer, no. The longer answer: For this device, you need a socket (QFN sockets can be quite expansive) or an assembled board. either way, you will need the JTAG adapter, which for the msp devices is proprietary (Can't use JLINK or similar standard adapters).

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+1 thank you for the explanation. – necromancer Jul 4 '14 at 8:02

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