MSP430 Tweaks: Reducing MSP430 Power Consumption

Many have used the MSP430 Launchpad family of microcontrollers to power all kinds of exciting projects, and are now looking for way to fine tune them and get their power consumption down to the impressive microwatt levels that modern MCU technology has made possible.

There are various ways to reduce the power consumption of the MSP430G2, some of which are specific to the Launchpad kit (like the jumper settings), outlined below.

Turn Off Unused Pins

You can turn off unused pins to save energy/extend the battery life of your MSP430 project. Do so by typing the following, and change ‘x’ to the port number that you aren’t using.

PxOUT = 0;

That was simple! If you aren’t using port two (and the pins in the 2.x range), you would type P2OUT = 0; to turn off all the pins on that port.

Avoid Using USB To Power The MSP430

You can dramatically reduce the power consumption of your MSP430 by removing the VCC and RST jumpers from the Launchpad, and then powering it by connecting the VCC and GND pins to an appropriate 5 Volt power source. This will turn off the power LED on the Launchpad.

Turn Off Unnecessary LEDs

If you love LEDs as much as I do, you may have a hard time getting yourself to turn them off. Even the tiny little LEDs that come with microcontroller kits consume a considerable amount of power. Combined, they often consume just as much power as the microcontroller itself. You can reduce the power consumption of your MSP430 Launchpad substantially by turning off unnecessary LEDs.

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