I'm an electronics hobbyist and I have done a lot of electronics projects using launchpads like MSP430G2553, Arduino and Tiva C Series, so I never faced any problems to upload code to these microcontrollers.

But now for one of my projects I want to use an MSP430F6736 as it has features my project requires. But there is no launchpad with this microcontroller IC on the market.

So, I'm confused about how to use this microcontroller in my project. If I can manage to upload a blink sketch in to it I can do the entire project - but I have no idea how to upload code to such bare microcontrollers.

I have seen a lot of people using bare microcontrollers in their projects. Please help me.


Thank you so much for your suggestions. I searched online after reading your solution and found ez430 emulator can be used to program most of MSP430 microcontrollers. I have a MSP430G2 launchpad and it turns out that it has ez430 emulator onboard which can be used to program and debug MSP430F6736 through SBWTDIO and SBWTCK pins.

For more info please refer this document. http://www.ti.com/lit/pdf/slau647

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ You can use the launchpad as a stand-alone programmer and implement the programming interface on your boards. Details would make this question too broad. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eugene Sh.
    Jun 4, 2019 at 18:07
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Or you can buy the MSP-FET programming dongle, which is pretty reasonably priced as these things go (but more expensive than a Launchpad). \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Jun 4, 2019 at 18:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ the reason there are so many jumpers on the or some of the launchpads is so that you can remove them and use the debug end of the board to program other chips (in your own designs). \$\endgroup\$
    – old_timer
    Jun 4, 2019 at 23:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is somewhat confusing to use the term "launchpad" when it is close to Texas Instruments' system with the name "LaunchPad" (proper noun). \$\endgroup\$ Jun 5, 2019 at 9:27

4 Answers 4


You can use a JTAG programming tool for this purpose. Pinout of the programmer looks like this:


You can find matching pins on the IC:


When you design your custom board, you can put in a row of header pins connected to these pins. When your PCB is assembled, use spring loaded pins or a cable connector to program the board. Somewhat like this (image source):



MSP430s with USB can be programmed over USB.

All other MSP430s must be connected to a programmer that supports the JTAG (a special MSP430 variant) or SBW interfaces.

  • The MSP-FET is expensive, because it supports both JTAG and SBW, and different voltages.
  • If your board can run at 3.6 V, you can do SBW programming with a cheap LaunchPad board, such as the MSP-EXP430FR5969 (see "Using the eZ-FET Emulator With a Different Target" in its User's Guide).
  • The eZ-FET hardware and software are open source, so you could build your own.
  • \$\begingroup\$ MSP430 is not JTAG compatible thought, they only support "BYPASS" command. \$\endgroup\$
    – Barleyman
    Jun 5, 2019 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, MSP430F6736 can be programmed with eZ-FET hardware and I'm planning to use that for my project. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 6, 2019 at 7:07

You use a JTAG debugger or programmer like this one or use the launchpad as Eugene Sh. suggested.

When you make your design, you can add a connection for either a JTAG or SWD interface. There are schematics on how to do it in the link above. It is fairly simple.

You can load and debug your program through this interface with the IDE supplied by TI or you can use a dedicated programming software, if you only need to load software onto the target.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Load the what (last paragraph, first sentence)? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 5, 2019 at 9:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Load and debug your programmes* \$\endgroup\$ Jun 5, 2019 at 11:25

update ULINK2 only works with IAR toolkit, not Code Composer.

MSP-FET is the Texas tool of choice and the MSP430 is not really JTAG compatible. IAR can use a standard JTAG emulator to program/debug MSP430 but not Texas Code Composer.

Fortunately you can buy [low-cost (£20-25) MSP-FET430UIF clone from ebay][1].. . It's been superseded by MSP-FET but remains supported for now. (still in CCS8). If you're developing code professionally, you might as well as pick up the official MSP-FET.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does it work with MSP432 or MSP430? \$\endgroup\$
    – CL.
    Jun 5, 2019 at 11:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Yeah, but only on IAR. My bad. Well, not to worry, it's not like you can't buy MSP-FET clone off ebay on the cheap as well.. \$\endgroup\$
    – Barleyman
    Jun 5, 2019 at 15:53

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