PICkit2 vs. MSP430 Launchpad Revisited

In my previous review I commented on the fact that the Launchpad came with a MSP430G2211 and MSP430G2231 microcontroller, both in DIP14 packaging, which made the stock setup a bit short on I/O pins. I am happy to inform you that the this is no longer true, as the new boards now come with the more powerful MSP430G2553 and MSP430G2452 microcontrollers in DIP20 packaging!

This means you will be getting a full 20 pins mcu at your disposal out of the box, as well as more easily available USI and USCI pins through some design changes on the board. It also comes with the male headers already soldered in place, which might be handy for some, but it makes it harder if you intend to jumper the Launchpad on to a breadboard using the female headers.

When it comes to actually writing code for the Launchpad, I personally must say that it keeps growing on me. The fact that msp430-gcc gives you the whole nine yards including the support to build libraries with the familiar gcc suite arguments makes it take the winning leap against the PICkit2. There are also a couple of additional things to note about the architecture of the MSP430, such as the fact that all I/O pins have built in pull-up/pull-down resistors, which makes the design and engineering of systems based on the MSP430 series controllers much easier.

Read more: http://www.43oh.com/2011/12/confirmed-ti-shipping-launchpads-with-msp430g2553-and-msp430g2452/