I am a senior in college and am designing a board based around the MSP430G2744IDA38. I have used an MSP430 launchpad but that was an easy USB connection to program. I notice that a JTAG can be used to program/debug chips so my question is really if all I have to do to program a chip is put a 4 pin pinheader on my board and connect VCC, GND, TEST, and RST pins? Or is it more involved than that and im just not seeing it?

Pic for reference

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    \$\begingroup\$ Basicly yes: processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/JTAG_(MSP430) And this: ti.com/lit/ug/slau320ah/slau320ah.pdf \$\endgroup\$
    – C. K.
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 4:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Many demo boards (I haven't checked yours) on the MSP430 include some pads where you can install a JTAG header which can be used with a ribbon cable to program your own custom target boards. So you can use the convenient USB interface together with their custom USB MCU (which is not the same as the demo board MCU you can swap in and out of the board) to program target boards and not only the MCU on the demo board. Just something for you to double-check me, about. \$\endgroup\$
    – jonk
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 8:28

1 Answer 1


JTAG consists of four signals (TDI/TDO/TCK/TMS) in addition to VCC/GND.

Most MSP430s also support Spy-Bi Wire, which multiplexes these four signals over two pins (SBWTDIO/SBWTCK); many of the smaller chips have only SBW.

The MSP430G2744 supports both JTAG and SBW. The programmer on the LaunchPad supports only SBW, so you should use this. (JTAG would require the expensive MSP-FET programmer, and TI's JTAG variant is not compatible with other vendors.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ But from reading SBW doesnt support debugging, which I dont know how to go about fixing code without debugging \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 23:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ As I wrote, SBW is JTAG multiplexed over two lines; the features are exactly the same. \$\endgroup\$
    – CL.
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 6:57

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